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Ravitch Quits Ed Next Board Over Lazy Bloomberg Puff Piece

According to this Elizabeth Green story in the NY Sun (Ravitch Quits), historian Diane Ravitch has split from Paul Peterson et al on the board of Education Next over a new article that appears to praise Mike Bloomberg's stewardship over the New York City Schools and endorse his candidacy. 

Ednext_20082_10_openerMaybe this is just Ravitch throwing a tantrum -- I'll be interested to see what others think -- but publishing a puff piece about Bloomberg seems like a tin-eared and a cockeyed move to me, given all the substantive and widespread criticism that his DOE has received, not to speak of the political moment having long passed.   

Losing Ravitch and endangering Ed Next's reputation over a freelancer's article seems even dumber. The Ed Next folks had to know she'd have strong feelings about the piece, which  upon first skim reads like it was written by someone new to the topic -- not in a good way  (here).   

It's full of first-person "I met Bloomberg" fluff, includes fuzzy snapshots that look like they were taken with a disposable camera, and ignores things like the high exclusion rates that made NYC's NAEP scores seem higher than they otherwise would have been, the zigzag path of the Klein reforms, the failed efforts at weighted student funding, etc. Several other recent articles about school reform in NYC have done a much better job (LynNell Hancock in The Nation here, Sol Stern in City Journal here, Elizabeth Green from the Sun here.)

Disclosure:  I have written for Education Next in the past and could have written a much better article.  Of course, I'll probably never be asked to write for them again. 


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No you probably wont be asked to write again. Those people hold grudges, and have published some dubiously "objective" pieces in the past. I dont even look at it as an objective publication, more of a propaganda publication from AEI. There is nothing wrong with this, i still find it interesting, but a lot of my colleagues who are more liberal than i am, simply discount the pub. Maybe we're all wrong, but objectivity doesnt seem to be their number one priority.

Even though I disagree with many of her views, my respect for Diane Ravitch as an honorable person continues to grow. She is a breath of fresh air in world full of "puff."

Wow. That blog post was fierce. Nice writing.

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