I know a lot of folks like (or loathe) Diane Ravitch, who was in town last week giving a speech and generally rattling the anti-reform saber. See Catalyst's coverage: Ravitch criticizes school closings, charter expansion.
As you already know, I don't think that's very constructive for CPS over all for Ravitch or anyone else to keep bashing at failed or imperfect reform efforts rather than begin working on some joint efforts. And the truth is that while I like her personally I've basically stopped paying attention to Ravitch because she's become so rigid, ideological, and almost cartoonish in her positions.
She's long ignored me, too. So I was surprised to see that she commented on my recent paper about TFA, HQT, and the use of political power - but then I realized that she hadn't actually read it, or if so only for narrow ideological purposes.
In her very brief post, Ravitch describes my TFA paper as a piece about "how TFA has managed to have unusual influence inside the Beltway."
But that's actually not what the piece is about. Exactly the opposite, really.The piece is about how TFA for a long time lacked any real Capitol Hill chops, and still exercises its power mostly in the narrow pursuit of programmatic interests (appropriations, authorizations related to TFA).
I pointed this out in the comments on her site last night, and the comment has been removed. Nice.
This has happened before. Ravitch did the same with my book about Locke High School, for what it's worth -- boiling the story down into a single "turnarounds don't work" sound bite -- and then demanding to have her blurb removed from my book when I had the gall to question her rigid certainty.
What's it like, I wonder, for Ravitch followers when she does things like this? Some wouldn't even notice at this point, so enraged and euphoric that they have become. But others must cringe a little bit that she has ended up as the de facto reform critic champion that everybody has to follow.