The highlight of the night, of course, was hearing Diane Ravitch speak. This was her first time to travel since her knee surgery in April. At 76 years old, she's got a lot of energy and stamina! She was also speaking the next morning at a convention of education technology people. We asked her what on earth she was going to say at such a reformy convention of people eager to cash-in on education dollars. She said "well, they aren't going to like what I am going to say!" Diane Ravitch fearlessly speaks the truth. She is opposed to the profit-driven reform that includes Common Core, excessive testing, and charter schools. She bases this on facts. She's got a wealth of wisdom and knowledge in her head, and she's not afraid to use it!
- Race to the Top... What is the top? As long as we have 25% of children in poverty, we cannot reach the top.
- They say that charter schools are for black and Hispanic children so the Democrats will fall for it, but the money goes to the Republicans.
- Public education is a civic responsibility, not a consumer good.
- We should reduce poverty and segregation as a matter of public policy.
- Billionaires love the free market because it worked for them.
- Reformers want us to think as consumers, and not as citizens.
- Education is a basic human right.
- Charter schools will never take over an entire district. There must always be public schools to dump the struggling students.
- The biggest hoax of all is that school choice is the civil rights issue of our time.
- We are the most over-tested nation on earth. We are the only nation testing every child every year.
- Japan has the highest test scores in the world, but a stagnant economy.
- If we want to raise test scores, we need to reduce the number of 'have-nots'.
- There's this crazy idea that if kids can't pass the test, just make the test harder.
- The Opt-out movement is the biggest way to say 'no' to the testing. It is growing day by day.
- Test results don't show student learning, they show who is in the class.
- The strongest educational systems in the world don't allow amateurs to become state superintendent.
- Reformers love data more than they love children.
- Poor kids get computers to teach them, rich kids get teachers. That's not right!
- Charters today look like the schools of the 19th century (with regards to segregation and rigidity)
- We are many. They are few.
- Merit pay for teachers is like a zombie... It never works and it never dies.
- Teach For America makes a lot of money renting young people to school districts. It is destroying the teaching profession.
- There is no 'Teach for Finland'. You cannot fire your way to Finland.
- I think it is very important to interact with children before becoming a teacher. (referring to TFA-like programs)
- Don't hire amateur teachers, amateur principals, amateur superintendents... or amateur commissioners of education!
- Poverty is not an excuse. It is a reality.
- There are too many billionaires in America for so many children to be in poverty!
No, it was something much more terrifying to reformers... Click HERE to see what we mean.
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