Thursday, August 9, 2012

Diane Ravitch's and Michelle Rhee's Backlash

We have followed with enthusiasm the work of Diane Ravitch since appointed by George W. Bush as Assistant Secretary of Education she supported the ‘No child left behind’ policy instituted by Bush’s administration.   Ravitch became a sharp critique of holding non-performing schools punitively accountable after she’s left her public post. After reading the following comment a reader sent to me about in Response to ‘Digest on Michelle Rhee’, I felt compelled to post about Diane Ravitch’s changed views on Education Reform.  Here’s the reader’s response:

”Things are difficult, in an inner city school, and the reformers are just making it totally unbearable. It’s like being in an army at war - you're under fire, your buddies are becoming casualties, you're undermanned, you're outgunned, yet, you are still holding your position.  But the people back home say it’s entirely your fault.  You’re not on the offensive and over running the enemy country; the soldiers are lazy, incompetent, etc.  The solution is to fire everybody who hasn't gotten enough kill stats; cut salaries.  And especially, you must get rid of the most experienced soldiers.

Teachers are undermanned (giant class sizes), having inferior weapons (textbooks falling apart, AND, no kids can take textbooks home because the dropouts never bring the $125 books back, PLUS I have to buy my own laptop-projector, the 600$ projector dies every 3 years).

Like a teacher, Each soldiers kill statistics depend on situations outside of their control. Did you give me a machine gun with 5000 rounds and place me in a foxhole with miles of visibility, where there's nowhere for the enemy to hide? Did you put me in a tank? Or did you throw me from a boat like D-Day onto a heavily defended beach with no tanks and just said 'go get ‘em'?

And sure, there probably are incompetent soldiers.  They become casualties.  Teachers who get axed by admins not related to them, or quit within two of the worst years of their lives with classes they don’t know how to control and can't teach.  Think of all the middle class college graduates in an inner city classroom where neither side understands each other....and soon grows to loathe each other, and suddenly midyear, they have a sub or another rookie for the rest of the year. THAT happens ALL THE TIME. The incompetents weed themselves out.  Only the effective can survive.  A lot of crying twenty four year old women are involved in this process, miserable.”

The above comment makes the need for education reform even more forceful.  Again, that reinforces the need for a Michelle Rhee.  Diane Ravitch’s position on tolerating incompetent teachers especially hurts the future of those in inner city schools.  We are competing globally. Students and Teachers first please.

Jacques Moise Thimothee {Virginia and Maryland Commercial - Residential Real Estate}

Millionaire Match Verified

Maryland - Virginia Real Estate listing agent.