Did We Bridge Our Differences?
While I was not too aware of Diane as a controversial figure, my friends in the anti-testing community had viewed Diane Ravitch as being in the enemy camp. Indeed, when I posted that she was to receive the John Dewey Award at a UFT Spring conference I received an email from the late Jerry Bracey asking if we were going to picket.
Now, of course, Diane has become a major hero for so many teachers. But Deb as part of this remarkable blogging duo has also maintained her status as a major progressive educator. (Diane's post touches on many of the issues that divided them but I will comment in a follow-up to this post.)
Interesting that it took watching many of her ideas put into effect and distorted for Diane to see where things could lead, while people like Deb could see it coming from the classroom perspective years before.
I know so many teachers that Diane has reached out to and they have been thrilled to hear from her.
One thing I noticed as I read the introduction to Diane's book and how she saw the light: I knew that stuff 30 years ago from seeing the impact of high stakes testing on my school, my students and my colleagues. How does such a smart lady miss that? But she answers that as looking from an airplane can distort things. Diane deserves credit for seeing that research alone isn't enough but day-to-day teacher experience - the much maligned anecdotal - are never to be discounted.
Yes, I am from the "Don' need no stinkin' research school."
Also read Diane's great review of Waiting for Superman:
Don't forget to check out tonight's radio show (unfortunately I have rehearsals for The Odd Couple). I hope you heard last week's show with Leonie. Both Arthur Goldstein and Diane Ravitch called in. Congrats to South Bronx Teacher who has gone from totally snarky to a major force in the anti-ed deform blogging and now radio world, while maintaining his humor and snarkiness. His continued growth and influence has been a pleasure to watch.