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Diane Ravitch: Defending Public Education

July 30, 2012

If you are a teacher, or concerned about public education because your kids attend public schools, and if you watch anything today – watch this video of Diane Ravitch defending public education at this year’s American Federation of Teachers conference.

Diane’s points are strong, loud, well-thought-out and numerous.  She points out that American teachers are under serious attack by privatization forces and this trend will not end unless teachers stay strong.  There are so many excellent points in this speech!  I recommend viewing it in its entirety, and if you have the capability please pass this around to your friends.



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  1. bookquilt permalink

    Sounds like the Diane we came to know as young teachers some decades ago! Wise and inspirational. However, some of her comments need to be tempered with a little history.

    Speaking as an AFT member in NY, D’s embrace of Weingarten makes me want to retch. Those who worked in some of the earliest versions of the “boutique” schools well versed the UFT leadership on the antics in the very first “reform” sites. They were ignored. Randy sold us down the river in NYC, the greatest single disaster being the 2005 contract in which she happily swept away all the protections we fought so hard for over nearly 30 years! Scores of schools have been summarily closed, many times more than the 27 that were “saved” last week. Morale will be so low in each building in Sept. that they will just go back on the “close” list once again. While I am happy the UFT took this sucessful course of action, the barn is long empty and it’s nearly burned to the ground. RW’s cadre controls the patronage via the main political party in the UFT and nothing is going anywhere. Vast numbers of astonishingly fine teachers have departed, never looking back…and the vast majority of NYC residents do not care!

    As for Chicago TU, please be aware that these are the brilliant unionists who threw out the CTU leadership allied with Randy. Their battle is not over, it’s only begun. They are the true successors to the legacy of Albert Shanker. They are not Randy’s friends. I hope the next national AFT leader comes from their ranks. The national succession from AFT Local #2 (NYC) is moribund.

    Lastly, it seems not many delegates (certainly not the leadership) paid any attention to what Diane was saying. Otherwise, how can they explain their re-endorsement of the disastrous Obama/Bush education policies???

    • I think you make some good points. At times I am not sure whether to like Randi, or dislike her. It seems she tries to play both sides of the coin: A union leader and someone who gets “along” with the “reform” movement. I think Diane had to praise her in order to speak…kind of like a diplomatic nicety. Teachers need to stay strong and unite in the face of attacks on so many levels, the ambivalence to what is happening among teachers I know saddens me.

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