Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Have to Stop Reading Diane Ravitch's Blog!

My summer vacation began on June 13 and Diane Ravitch has started blogging. What's the connection? Well, every morning when I open my email, there are about 4-7 posts from Diane Ravitch. She doesn't send them to me personally. But, being a person who wants to know what's going on in the realm of education, besides the latest edtech tool, hers is one of the blogs I subscribe to.

Here's the thing though. Every time I open one of her posts, and begin to read, I get angry, frustrated, and outraged at what is happening around this country regarding education!  My stomach gets tied up in knots, I shake my head repeatedly, I talk to the "ed reformers" Diane refers to (and I am not saying nice things either),and the word "What?" "What?" spews from my mouth repeatedly!(You should have seen me when I read the one about Bill Gates and the bracelet!)

I love teaching. I love engaging my students, discussing parent involvement, learning about the latest edtech tools, developing cool lesson plans, and all the warm and fuzzy that goes with teaching.

But we, as educators have to wake up to the cold, hard, fact, that education is a-changing, no, it's changed.  We can't hide in our classrooms, and pretend that everything is right with the world because it's okay in our classrooms, schools, district, or state.

Do you know how many teachers I talk to that don't have a clue about ed reform, and what it means for ALL teachers?  Not just the teachers in New Orleans, New York, Chicago, and  Wisconsin, all of us! What affects a group of teachers in one state, will eventually come down the proverbial pike.

Reading Diane's blog, has opened my eyes, even wider, to what's going on in the edusphere.  We are being ripped apart.  Educators are the bain of existence,we are the cause of all things wrong with education!

Why have educators suddenly been demonized?  How did we go from the most respected profession to this? (And not everyone feels this way about us, by the way) Think of the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but in this case, substitute Kevin Bacon with the word MONEY.

Why have charter schools? Standardized testing? Larger class sizes? Government control of schools?  Someone discovered that you can make money off of education.  They began yelling to anyone who would listen, "We need to hold teachers accountable!", and here we are now. (Okay, I admit, that's my version of events.)

Educators, we have to stand up. It's not just someone else's problem. We can't turn a blind eye, and pretend we don't see it.  And if we are not aware of the problems, then become informed. Do you have to agree with everything you read? Certainly not! But, be informed. Be ready to fight for the rights of others! Do what you can, comment on a post, write to a government official, tweet, sign petitions, make your voice heard!

And as for me, I am going  to help where I can, and I am going to continue to read Diane Ravitch's blogs!


  1. Whew! I'm glad you plan to keep reading my blog! I am glad you are hearing from teachers in other districts and states. Teachers need to know what is happening and discover that what is happening in their state is part of a national movement.
    Please tell your friends and colleagues to read the blog too!
    Diane Ravitch

  2. I do definitely know what you mean by educators not knowing what is going on in education and the reform agendas. It sickens me, but I keep plugging away at trying to communicate with them in ways that I can! We must all do that! There are days I get sooooo frustrated.

  3. Diane Ravitch and her vision for education needs to be a part of more and more conversations regarding our schools. As a Wisconsin educator, this past year has been eye opening to say the least. What is unique with my experiences is that I have been in different districts all over Southeastern Wisconsin. No matter what school building or grade level, rural or urban, there is this dark cloud hanging over our schools. It is sucking the energy from educators and have made some learning environments toxic. (So sad... so wrong.)

    "Educators, we have to stand up." Yes! I propose we start a hashtag #onething on Twitter. Those who work in the schools day in and day out...What is one thing you wish you could share with a politician or a community member regarding education? It could be a positive experience with a student or a suggestion for improvement. Who's in?

  4. I have gotten into trouble-administrator meetings, letters in my file, etc. . . in my school for sending information about the current educational deform movement out to the staff. It's okay to send out all kinds of other crap-someone's selling a car, a baby shower notification, pictures of their new dog, but if you send something that is half way intelligent about what is happening in the current public education debates be prepared to be called on the carpet.

  5. To Anonymouse who got into trouble. As you have figured out, don't use your school system e-mail BUT begin collecting personal e-mails and phone numbers now so you can join the rapidly growing number of educators and parents who ARE becoming aware of the destruction being wrought upon public education.

    I encourage everyone to put on their boots and join the grassroots campaign to take back our public schools. Believe me I have seen the movement grow exponentially over time. Many times I have wanted to give up but keep up the good fight. Network - use your Facebook pages, start a blog even if you just re-post with your own perspective. Go to and join the growing coalition of individuals and organizations who want to take back our schools. Be in Washington, D.C. August 3-5 to get training and receive encouragement for the months ahead. Check out my blog at for more Louisiana insight. We can do this!!

  6. I thank you all for what you do to keep us informed! @Diane, I will keep reading, clenched stomach and all! If we're not informed, anything can be done to us!

  7. As a teacher, I don't live my life with my head in the sand, but at the same time I can't become entrenched in negativity. In this life, we have to choose our battles. And the battle I choose is to shed what's going on right in education. It is my hope that positivity will overshadow the horror that has become the world of education. I know what I'm saying is just as equally polarizing and it would surprise you to know that I am in fact a Diane Ravitch fan. I have sat in a crowded room at last year's AERA to hear her speak. I read her books and know that she is truthful. However, I wish there was more balance in her blogs and tweets,sharing positivity along with the strident, impassioned call for change. But I see too little of that presently. So for now, I stay away from her blogs and her tweets because I need someone to give me a glimmer of hope and I'm not finding it there. I don't want to give up on education and that's what's pushing me to create change. I just hope you take my opinion for what it is and don't write me off as a strictly oppositional viewpoint. Thanks.

  8. @NJH Thanks for sharing NJH! There are enough people out there who talk about the positive in education. However, I think Diane has chosen purposely to highlight the negativity that has invaded public education. We need to be informed! As for me, I find hope every day I walk into my classroom.:)

  9. Lisa, I agree with you on Diane's choice to focus on the negativity. However, her vehemence is rooted in her need to take responsibility for past policy and educational philosophy choices she made (which she admits). Given the negative tone of education of present, I just do not believe that further negativity will negate its reality in our lives--only exacerbates it. Nonetheless, action is better than inaction. I only wish more educators were vested in creating change positively.

  10. NJH wake up and look around you. As someone with actual living breathing children in public schools, there is not alot of positive to go around. My daughter lost the entire last quarter of 9th grade to the various tests now required. Class sizes are rising because more money is being shoved to charters. The teachers' pay and collective bargaining rights have been cut, here in Florida by as much as $12,000, that supposedly can be made up by being ranked highly effective...again based on bs test scores. There are not enough electives because they have been cut as well. School is NOT what it used to be and maybe you feel good about hiding in your classroom while the building burns down around you. THere is an all out attack on public schools and teachers and children as well. You better get yourself in the game or there won't be a game very soon.Too many educators don't know what's going on or just keep going along to get along. Common core is a scam and will further kill any decent learning and teaching in schools.

  11. What a refreshing call to action or to at the very least get informed about the issues and start deciding where you stand! I will definitely be following Diane from here on out!

    7th and 8th MS Religion Teacher

  12. Thanks Lucinda! And I agree, "at the very least, get informed!"

  13. We have to be aware of what's going on because some people think elementary school children can learn simply by following a computer program and Skyping with a teacher somewhere. This may work for a few, but I can think of more who would have their big brother doing their work if necessary. I fear outsourcing in the next 10 years. So I stay on top of stuff, and separate what IS from what MAY BE.