UPDATE: After some comments, including key public education advocate Dr. Paul, Mike Thomas admitted he error and changed his post to reflect that the comments did not belong to Ravitch. (2/21/13 600 AM CST)
Like most ed reformers, Foundation for Excellence in Education writer Mike Thomas responds reflexively to anything education historian Diane Ravitch says. Today Thomas latched onto a recent post Ravitch made in her blog. Writes Thomas:
Diane Ravitch has hit a new low in the hyperbole she allows on her blog site.
This was written about charter schools:
“But the privatizers declared war on our schools, our kids, our teachers, our parents and our taxpayers.
“We didn’t start this war, any more than Poland in 1939. But we must fight back. And ultimately, emerge victorious.
“And when you’re in a war, and you’re defending the lives of your community, unfortunately, nuance or thoughtful qualifications become luxuries we can no longer afford.” (Diane’s post here)
Comparing school choice for parents with the Nazi invasion of Poland?
Jeb Bush’s top policy wonk, Matt Ladner writes in the same space that Thomas does. Few ed reformers are capable of vitriolic spew as is Ladner. His annual education report for ALEC last year opened with the very same analogy targeting the nation’s teachers in a way far more provocative way than Ravitch.
Britain’s enemies overreached, invading the Soviet Union and attacking the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. Finally, British forces defeated the German army in Egypt, securing their hold over the strategically vital Suez Canal. Prime Minister Churchill recognized the turning point:
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. Henceforth Hitler’s Nazis will meet equally well armed and perhaps better armed troops.”
I doubt that Thomas would have gone here if he had known about Ladner’s report. But Ravitch was quoting a comment from a parent to someone else’s article. The hypocrisy of ignoring your own guy’s nastiness further illustrates that Bush’s foundation sees Ravitch as a threat. How come? Especially if you’re advocating effective, successful policy. The ongoing drama in the Florida model necessitates changing the subject. What better way than to take a shot at Diane Ravitch?