Saturday, April 2, 2011

Diane Ravitch Criticizes Media Darling Rhee as "Erase-gate" Scandal Unfolds in D.C. School District

Diane Ravitch had come critical words to say recently about the likely alteration of test scores in Washington D.C. in general and former D.C. Superintendent Rhee in specific:

Her celebrity is not built on her success in D.C., however, which now appears to be a chimera. Her celebrity results from the fact that she has emerged as the national spokesman for the effort to subject public education to free-market forces, including competition, decision by data, and consumer choice. All of this sounds very appealing when your goal is to buy a pound of butter or a pair of shoes, but it is not a sensible or wise approach to creating good education. What it produces, predictably, is cheating, teaching to bad tests, institutionalized fraud, dumbing down of tests, and a narrowed curriculum.

This formula, which will be a tragedy for our nation and for an entire generation of children, is now immensely popular in the states and the Congress. Most governors embrace it. The big foundations endorse it. The think tanks of D.C., right-wing and left-wing, support it. Rhee helped to make it fashionable. If she doesn’t pause to consider the damage she is doing, shame on her. If our policymakers don’t stop to reflect on the damage they are doing to public education and to any concept of a good education, then our nation is in deep trouble. -Diane Ravitch (CLICK HERE for full Ravitch comments)

Recall, test results in several “star” DC public schools were flagged for review by the statistical anomaly of so many erased and changed-to-correct answers. The
McGraw-Hill testing company conducted its own investigation into the integrity of its tests administered to schoolchildren around the nation while the current DCPS Chancellor, Kaya Henderson, conducts a parallel investigation into the administrators at the schools where the test results were likely changed.

Picture: Former Assistant Secretary of Education and NYU Professor, Diane Ravitch