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Ravitch Does Not Believe

You know things aren’t 100% rosy for Klein and Bloomberg when Diane Ravitch goes after them with no holds barred. See the interview on math scores with her and Inside Schools’ Clara Hemphill on Brian Lehrer’s show. Ravitch actually says she doesn’t believe the test scores. “You never see a 10-point jump. I am dubious, they are incredible. Incredible, like, not believable.” Ravitch served in the federal education department under Bush pere, and is an NYU professor. She’s not a chronic miscreant, but she is not even buying the published test results. Her reason: there’s no accountability under mayoral control. He can spin anything any which-way. There is no independent board, no audit committee, no independent research function, no public participation, and unbelievable announcements. She also went after the DOE’s spin of a new Harvard study on special education, saying the report was actually very critical, but to hear the DOE tell it, the Harvard researchers gave special ed a glowing review. Ravitch warns that if Bloomberg is reelected, “we will have four years of no accountability” at all.



  • 1 redhog
    · Sep 28, 2005 at 3:59 pm

    Ravitch is the most brilliant personality on the American contemporary landscape. Points similar to those quoted above have been made by her in countless forums. The UFT has no greater friend. I heard that she frequents a particular store located near the WTC site, largely because, immediately after the mass murders there in 2001, that store’s management continued to pay its employees, even though they were forced to close due to the catastrophe. All that and more!

  • 2 institutional memory
    · Sep 28, 2005 at 4:14 pm

    The Brian Lehrer program featuring Diane Ravitch and Clara Hemphill may be downloaded at:


    In an unusually frank discussion, Dr. Ravitch explains how test results may be manipulated by unscrupulous politicians.

  • 3 nycparent
    · Sep 28, 2005 at 6:03 pm

    You know what is ironic? The UFT’s biggest advocate on this issue was Eva Moskowitz. Think of the exposure on the accountability problem if the UFT had put politics aside for one moment and joined with her on this issue.

  • 4 shouldhavegonetomeds
    · Sep 28, 2005 at 8:10 pm

    The sad thing is the majority of people who vote for Bloomberg won’t know who Diane Ravitch is, the people who are well informed enough and sophisticated enough to be cognizant of her existence won’t be voting for Bloomberg anyway.

  • 5 firebrand
    · Sep 28, 2005 at 8:43 pm

    THANK YOU!!!! I don’t believe them either…not entirely… It’s not that I don’t believe that my colleagues and I worked hard to get the scores up…but I believe that the mayor and chancellor inflated the stats. I really do.

    If the scores really did go up as much as their propaganda states then IT WAS BECAUSE OF THE TEACHERS! The children didn’t suddenly pop awake and say “OOOOOH I have to improve my math, and reading scores” Stepford children don’t exist.

    Another thing…if the mayor is so big on merit raises and pay….and the scores are up so high….then don’t teachers deserve a big fat raise….a real one without being forced to work extra time? What better way to honor us for our merits than to start throwing some of that merit pay cash our way?

  • 6 shouldhavegonetomeds
    · Sep 30, 2005 at 1:10 am

    A non professional educator the mayor makes testing the “sin quo non” of education. It never was any such thing. Too bad people are too stupid to realize this.

  • 7 institutional memory
    · Sep 30, 2005 at 1:12 pm

    For those of us who were always dubious about those test results, here’s a link to a “scientifically based” study that shows why we’re dubious:


  • 8 steadyeddieg
    · Oct 2, 2005 at 12:36 pm

    Ms. Ravitch, as in the case with so many others, is a pseudo-educational expert who never spent a day of classroom teaching.
    Like too many, she would love to see teachers give up everything earned in the next contract. I love their line-FOR THE KIDS!
    Teachers!!! Wake Up! The days of the sweat-shop are returning. This will happen if we allow it to.
    By the way, anyone read today’s disgusting Daily News editorial? Let Morty Zuckerman and his cohorts try a day of teaching under the conditions they espouse. No way.
    Remember how we’d look forward to a new contract. Now, contract time has become a curse. We don’t know what we will lose next. May I please go to the bathroom, principal? It’s coming.

  • 9 redhog
    · Oct 3, 2005 at 6:32 am

    Calling Ravitch a “pseudo-educational expert” is the stupidest ejaculation heard ’round the world since at least that momentous year of 846 A.D.
    And she has graced the UFT with support immensely, though no amount of wisdom and decency could balance the drivel that is the above commenter’s pathetic cry.

  • 10 Frank48
    · Oct 4, 2005 at 12:27 pm

    This contract offer is horrendously bad for the working teacher. But as galling is the Political ploy Kleinberg ( with “Randi’s compliance ) executes on all of us.

    My bet is that Kleinberg stood up on its hind legs and took notice when Ms. Moskowitz lost her election . “Randi” just removed one weapon we had going for us against Kleinberg – officially endorsing Ferrer.
    Since the ratification vote comes AFTER Election Day, Kleinberg neutralizes direct UFT opposition to another Kleinberg term of office. Basically, “Randi” came out yesterday with a UFT endorsement for Kleinberg – while allowing the greatest assault on this contract ever – and for NO real money.

    Way to go “Randi. “