This was the week that the real reformers finally broke through!

On Thursday night, Diane Ravitch with her usual incisiveness pointed out the importance of poverty and the unfairness of teacher-bashing on Jon Stewart’s the Daily Show.

According to Valerie Strauss’ Answer Sheet, Ravitch’s book shot up from #758 on Amazon’s list to #35 by the next afternoon.

Jon Stewart showed a short clip of the segment on Fox News debate, to ridicule the commentators’ attack on the “greed” of teachers, while defending the huge bonuses and salaries of Wall Street financiers and bankers whose irresponsible behavior caused the economic collapse in the first place.

On CNN, Matt Damon criticized President Obama’s education policies:

“He misinterpreted his mandate…This idea that we’re tying teachers’ salaries to how their kids are performing do on tests. That kind of mechanistic thinking has nothing to do with higher order thinking; we’re training them, were not teaching them.”

Julie Cavanagh, NYC public school teacher and one of the leaders of the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), was brilliant on NY1′s Inside City Hall, pointing out the importance of teacher experience (and class size), in opposition to the push by Mayor Bloomberg and Michelle Rhee to eliminate seniority protections for teachers.

The New York Times, the home of conventional wisdom, featured an extended article about how the scapegoating of teachers has gotten out of hand. (See also FAIR’s critique of the article’s claim that teachers are actually scorned by the majority of Americans, rather than simply by those in power.)

Thursday’s To the Point, a national NPR radio show, also featured Diane, Kay McSpadden, a teacher from South Carolina, and me. Ms. McSpadden said that many people in her state regularly blame the teachers union for the poor performance of their schools, yet there is no teachers union in South Carolina!

A perfect example of how with the collusion of the media, the corporate CEOs and the elected officials whom they control have conveniently created a fictional bogeyman, as a distraction from the real problem that afflict our schools: rampant budget cuts, inequitable funding, large classes, lack of parental input into decision-making, and an overemphasis on testing and privatization.

Let’s hope this is just the beginning of a reversal in which the real educational reformers will finally get a chance to present their perspective in the major media, and the privateers are no longer able to monopolize the airwaves through their wealth and influence – though they have no research and no common sense to back them up.

The clip of Matt Damon on CNN is below:


Posted on by leoniehaimson Posted in Uncategorized

8 Responses to This was the week that the real reformers finally broke through!

  1. Fred Hageman

    This has a real “Mission Accomplished” feel to it.

  2. rad1234

    Thursday’s To the Point, a national NPR radio show, also featured Diane, Kay McSpadden, a teacher from South Carolina, and I.

    and…me. But thank you for the information.

    • tchr2

      It is …and me, not and I.
      When you separate the list in a series & use them individually in the same sentence it would be improper to say “Thursday’s To the Point, a national NPR radio show, also featured I” Thursday’s To the Point, a national NPR radio show, also featured me. is proper english.

  3. Daisy

    RAD1234, you were on To the Point also?!

    Oh, I see. You were trying to correct Leonie’s grammar. Hilarious!

  4. teachermomnj

    I didn’t like that I couldn’t comment on the NY1 website. It was a great discussion about first in last out layoffs. My position is that if you have employees that aren’t pulling their weight, so to speak, then they should be eliminated BEFORE layoffs are necessary. This way you ALWAYS have your best most effective employees working within the system. In order for this to happen, we need well-trained administrators and a fair and objective evaluation that doesn’t over-emphasize test scores. (50% is a gross over emphasis suggesting 50% of everything a teacher does should be focusing on tests. How much focus do you want for your children?) It is correct the belief that LIFO procedures are the only fair and objective way to conduct “layoffs”

    Very glad to see the tide beginning to turn, and to hear parent voices. Now to get the major media outlets to listen as well. But oh wait, they are OWNED by the “reformers”.

  5. teachermomnj

    Great links! Thanks so much.

  6. leoniehaimson

    Sorry guys! I corrected my grammar above. Sometimes I could use an editor and I appreciate it when you point out my mistakes!

  7. MEorI

    Great article. Nice to see some support for a change.

    As for the Me or I thing: Many years ago, an English teacher told my class that if you aren’t sure which one it is, to take out the other people and just leave the me/I.

    Which sounds better?
    Thursday’s To the Point, a national NPR radio show, also featured me.
    Thursday’s To the Point, a national NPR radio show, also featured I.

    I don’t think either one sounds great but the sentence with “I” doesn’t sound right at all. Maybe you could try “yours truly” even though that’s a bit pretentious.

    Sorry to get off the point :D

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