Jonathan Alter praises education reform and disparages eminent historian Diane Ravitch, whom he describes as “the education world’s very own Whittaker Chambers, the famous communist turned strident anti-communist of the 1940s. Ravitch moved the other way, from right to left, where she now uses phony empiricism to rationalize almost every tired argument offered by teachers unions.” Boy, is Dr. Ravitch pissed.
Anyway, more from Alter’s essay:
America’s education-reform movement – – the most significant social movement of our time — is just completing another productive school year, with hundreds of districts beefing up accountability and standards.
Amid grim news about budget cuts, the year brought new awareness that relying on seniority alone in determining teacher layoffs is mindless. It’s like saying that if the Chicago Bulls wanted to cut costs, they should start by releasing Derrick Rose, the NBA’s MVP, because he has only been in the league for three years.
There is nothing like a sports metaphor to elevate the discussion. Especially applicable to teaching, of course.
What is truly mindless is completely discounting why seniority was ever used at all, as if Bloomberg's lackey has no appreciation for how the real world works when it comes to keeping one's job. Oh, wait…