Saturday, March 5, 2011
There is currently an education war going on in this country. I would suggest that education historian Diane Ravich and former D.C. school chief, Michelle Rhee represent the opposing sides.(Pictured above are Diane Ravich and Michelle Rhee)
Dr. Ravich , and her supporters, argue that POVERTY is essentially the raw education/achievement issue of the day. This line of argument carries with it the explanation of low test scores being most associated with and/or caused by POVERTY and/or RACIAL ISOLATION.
A March 2, 2011 Education Week commentary by author Richard Whitmire makes the following points about Rhee.
"Rhee raises existential threats not presented by voucher conservatives. Rhee wants to curb teacher tenure; overturn "last hired, first fired" layoff policies; and impose teacher evaluations with teeth. Most important, these are not just think-tanky proposals. Rhee actually did all these things in Washington."
"The real nut of this is the threat to the pride of thousands of teachers, especially those in low-performing school districts. For years, they have argued that poverty and single-parent families explain the low performance of their students. Rhee is saying maybe, maybe not."
For the black community, it is critical for us to understand these arguments and listen carefully. We can not allow our children to become even more of an educational casualty as this debate rages.
My view is that neither side is all right or all wrong. And, if the volume could be reduced and everyone pull back for a breather, perhaps some resolution of the positions would emerge that would benefit all children. However, I don't look for that to happen anytime soon.
Click on the link below to view Dr. Ravich state her position.
Diane Ravitch - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - 03/03/11 - Video Clip | Comedy Central