Intercepts

A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

Adulation Not Unanimous, Ravitch Attacks Ed Week Reporter

Written By: Mike Antonucci - Jul• 09•10

Apparently a best-selling book, the NEA Friend of Education award and the fawning acclaim of 8,174 delegates weren’t enough for Diane Ravitch. Today Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post handed her column over to Ravitch so she could take potshots at Stephen Sawchuk of Education Week for daring to write that some “contend that Ravitch is selective in the research she cites to support her views.”

I would have added, “sometimes she’s just wrong.”

I don’t blame Ravitch for taking the opportunity to again pitch her views and her book in one of America’s most prestigious daily newspapers. I blame Strauss and the Post for using that prestige to undermine a reporter from another publication who was on the scene and characterized the speech as it appeared to him. If Strauss wanted to criticize Sawchuk’s blog post, she should have done so herself, rather than cede her column to the subject of his story.

I find it particularly ironic, since the love being showered upon Ravitch is entirely due to her admitting she was wrong for supporting the very reforms she now lambastes. But she couldn’t possibly be wrong now, so don’t even try to suggest it.

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3 Comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pittsford PASS and RiShawn Biddle. RiShawn Biddle said: Antonucci takes #ValerieStrauss to task for running @DianeRavitch claptrap trashing @educationweek scribe Sawchuk http://bit.ly/a0nMU3 […]

  2. Rita Solnet says:

    With all due respect, what you call “potshots”, I refer to as supportive facts in reply to misrepresentation by Mr. Sawchuk.

    Is one not allowed to correct the record and state supporting evidence as facts? I would hope that is not the case.

    I don’t know how often you read Valerie Strauss’ column. I read it daily. Valerie frequently dedicates a column to a guest. In fact, the day before Dr. Ravitch’s remarks, Valerie, as you dramatically stated, “turned her column over” to Scott Lilly, the day before that, to Sam Chaltain and the day after, to yet another guest author named Slade.

    Perhaps you did not realize this, which is why you made a grand issue of a common happenstance. Needless to say, it was not as was portrayed in your piece.

    Dr Ravitch’s speeches, her book, her articles have provided mountains of evidence which some people simply do not want to hear. Facts are facts and I enjoy debates where facts are present.

    Wherever you stand on the education reform debate spectrum, you must acknowledge Diane Ravitch’s courage, tenacity, and her integrity. Critics of hers would be foolhardy to ignore her massive following. Her message resonates with millions of educators, parents, business leaders.

    Some critics as of late leave me with the impression that they simply dislike the most popular kid in the class!

  3. Ann De Lacy says:

    Dr. Diane Ravitch is one of the most credible and best educated people speaking today about public education. Her information is well documented and based on sound research. While US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, is totally unqualified for his position as his only education is a B.A. Degree in Sociology. I imagine he gained his education knowledge in the eight years he played basketball oversees. His Race to the Top “reform” strategies were a failure in Chichago and the policies are not grounded on credible research.

    I, like Rita, am a daily reader of Valerie Strauss and agree with her assessment.