by David Safier
Diane Ravitch, one of our most important voices in education, who was in Tucson Wednesday, has written a blog post (Yes! She's a blogger!), I Stand With the Teachers of Wisconsin. The piece is thoughtful and measured, as is all of her work. She is a thinker and a scholar who tries to simply tell the truth as she understands it. But she ends on a slightly different note. Who, she asks, in the "education reform movement" — the big bucks people, the talkers and advocates, the Obama administration — is speaking out for the rights of Wisconsin teachers?
I have been wondering if advocates of corporate school reform, such as Bill Gates, Eli Broad, and Michelle Rhee will come to the aid of the teachers in Wisconsin. I have been wondering if President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who were quick to applaud the firing of teachers in Central Falls, R.I., will now step forward to support the teachers in Wisconsin. I have been wondering if Secretary Duncan, who only a few days earlier had led a much-publicized national conversation in Denver about the importance of collaboration between unions and management, will weigh in to support the teachers. I am ever hopeful, but will take care not to hold my breath.