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Reviewing a Review: Bob Shepherd Reviews Annie Murphy Paul's Review of SLAYING GOLIATH in the "New York Times"

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A hatchet job in the NY Times… Bob Shepherd  an editor, author, assessment developer, curriculum writer, and most recently a classroom teacher in Florida. In this post, he reviews the   mean-spirited review of  SLAYING GOLIATH,  by 'journalist' Annie Murphy Paul: ' Being reviewed in the Times is a big deal.  Such a review affects public opinion and sales. That’s why a hatchet job done on a truly important book is truly irresponsible. Paul leads us to expect that Ravitch’s book, ostensibly about resistance to “Reform” or “Deform,” will actually be about Ravitch, a portrait of herself as conquering hero. But there’s a problem with Paul’s opening (and, as it turns out, her thesis): it’s false and therefore dishonest-- a clearly ad hominem attack completely lacking in subtle insight and informed judgment.' See all the  positive  reviews of this book in the commentary, at  the  end.

Read the rest of the story HERE:

At bobshepherdonline.wordpress.com

 

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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Gayle Lakin reviews SLAYING GOLIATH at Norm Scott's EdNotes Online. "Ravitch names people and companies (and there are many). She thoroughly explains the tactics of those ultra-wealthy hedge-fund managers, philanthropists, CEO's, big businesses, politicians and the likes playing into and profiting by the "ed disruption" takeover of our national education system via a "Trojan horse" also known as the charter school (which is assuredly not a public school even though it receives public school funding). The current charter school concept is totally foreign to the original idea put forth by Al Shanker who originally intended for a charter school to be a public school within a public school to serve the needs of outlier learners. Ravitch details Shanker's actual vision. Who would know better as he spoke to herdirectly about his vision which she describes in her book!"


Submitted on Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 at 4:38:23 PM

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Review from Vicki Cobb -- an award-winning author :"In her new book "Slaying Goliath" Ravitch pulls the disparate threads together and writes a brilliant, page-turner story of this war against public schools.

Who are the bad guys? Millionaires and billionaires who come from a business background where forces of free-market choices, competition, and new standards create disruption in the market place allowing the best products to rise to the surface. Ravitch names names. We know who they are and they include Bill Gates, Betsy De Vos, and the Walton (Wallmart) families.

Ravitch aptly changes their names from education "Reformers" to education "Disrupters." Disruption is not healthy for children. Using children to experiment with the profit-motive in education is an insane idea.

Measurement is key to determining educational success in the form of high stakes testing that occurs every school year for grades k-12. Right out of the starting gate the Disrupters' premise was wrong-headed and untested.

The methods of this warfare included slamming public schools as "failing" and demonizing teachers while supporting the creation of brand-new charter schools and vouchers to pay religious schools using tax payer money and selling the concept that now parents have "choice."


Submitted on Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 at 4:43:00 PM

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And don't Miss this one By Arthur Cumins at Daily Kos:

Until recently,Director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at Stevens Institute of Technology.He writes, in this excerpt:"No one likes the status quo," she writes. "Disrupters claim to oppose the status quo, but they are the status quo. After all, they control the levers of power in federal and state governments. They write the laws and mandates. They define the status quo. They own it." They are a somewhat disparate collective of market ideologues, self-regarding billionaires, technology titans, hedge fund managers, and entrepreneurs out to make (or steal) a fortune at the public trough. What unites them in an unwavering faith (ideas not supported by evidence) in the power of competition to drive human behavior. "


"Slaying Goliath" upends the myths of declining achievement and the lies that teachers unions and incompetent teachers are responsible for poor children's failure to rise to their potential (or do well on standardized tests. Instead, Ravitch centers blame where it belongs, on our systemic failure to address the systemic- and personally debilitating effects of poverty."

"Ravitch's first chapters, Disruption is Not Reform! and the Odious Status Quo, set the context for a thorough repudiation of the state of education in the United States: Endemic historic inequality made worse by decades of focused effort to disrupt a bedrock of American democracy, public education; Support for standardization linked to punishment of students, teachers, and schools by test scores; and, A determined effort to shift essential financial support from democratically governed public education to a competing private sector that includes privately governed charter schools and vouchers for private schools. The perpetrators call themselves reformers. Ravitch calls them disrupters. In her telling, that is a descriptive accusation, not a complement."

Ravitch makes crystal clear that the bipartisan embrace of so-called education reform was a paid for masquerade, a combination of ideological blinders, the arrogance of privilege, and avarice. The fight is not over, by any means. However, the tide is turning, pulled by the gravitational force of unified principled resistance.

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 at 5:01:33 PM

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Slaying Goliath: Diane Ravitch's New Book Traces a Quarter Century of Public Education Disruption by Jan Ressinger; "With only scanty newspaper coverage to guide us, however, we may have struggled grasp the ideology behind this war on public education or see how all the lines of attack were converging to discredit public schools and the work of local teachers. Diane Ravitch, the education historian, has done us all an enormous favor with this new book She summarizes, defines, and humanizes the widespread attack that has threatened public education across the U.S. in the past quarter century. And she tracks an encouraging backlash, a growing resistance led by dogged individuals, community organizations, and organized schoolteachers."

" Ravitch defines the ideology of the war being waged on public education by a giant army. Ravitch names the so-called "school reform" movement a Goliath-sized experiment in disruption. Goliath's work can be seen in "the wreckage that the so-called 'reform' movement had created by demonizing teachers as if they were adversaries of their students and treating them as malingerers who required constant evaluation lest they fail to do their duty". (in) the damage inflicted on public schools, their students and teachers, by heedless billionaires who had decided to disrupt, reinvent, and redesign the nation's public schools"."

Read more and learn about this book and why our pubic schools are under assault but he power elite who need an ignorant public.


Submitted on Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 at 5:08:41 PM

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Steven Singer reviews SLAYING GOLIATH in the pages of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "it's like nothing I've ever read. This is a history torn from the front page. It's a continuation of her previous two books 2010's "The Life and Death of the American School System," which was a history of the decadeslong plot, and 2013's "Reign of Error," which was also a research-based guide to stopping the destruction. "Slaying Goliath" is a chronicle of how the movement to counter the disruptors is succeeding. After three decades, it's become painfully clear that the snake oil being sold by the billionaires, does not work . "

"Our public schools are NOT failing they're struggling under reduced funding and the needs of students who are increasingly living in poverty. Standardized testing is NOT an effective way to assess learning; it mainly reflects family income."

"Charter schools are NOT producing better academic outcomes than authentic public schools; in fact, they often do much worse while denying students basic services and scamming the public. However, where the book is truly unique is in its celebration of the education activist community."

" Diane Ravitch talks about groups like Journey for Justice, United Opt Out, the Badass Teachers Association, and her own organization, the Network for Public Education.

' She talks about education bloggers, researchers, journalists, student protestors and parent groups.

'She writes about educator Jesse Hagopian and his fellow teachers at Seattle's Garfield High School who refused to give their students unfair standardized tests. She writes about Jitu Brown, a Chicago civil rights activist who went on a 34-day hunger strike to save his neighborhood school from closure.

"She writes about education professor Jesse Turner, who walked from Connecticut to Washington, D.C., to protest former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama's education policies.

"She writes about Texas pastors Charles Foster Johnson and Charles Luke, who organized thousands of religious leaders to support public schools. She writes about Amy Frogge, a parent who was twice elected to metro Nashville's Board of Education on a platform opposing charter schools.

"She writes about New York parent Leonie Haimon, who advocates for reductions in class size. In short, Ms. Ravitch's book is not just about the Goliath of the disruptors. It's a celebration of everyday Davids who stand up to the hulking beast and armed with only their slingshots of facts have continually beaned him between the eyes." DON'T MISS THIS BOOK!

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 at 5:16:23 PM

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The Life And Death Of The Terrible Education Reform Movement | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

In summary, this is a must read. Whether you are just learning about these issues or if you are someone who has studied them for years, you will get so much out of this. And you really want to get this and read it right away before everyone else starts talking about it and you're going to feel very left out.

In the early 1500s Michelangelo completed his sculpture 'David'. Though it took 500 years for another genius to rival his, Diane Ravitch's 'Slaying Goliath' is a masterpiece that will be studied and celebrated for generations. "The fact that Ravitch had the energy to write this book after all else that she has done and continues to do is astonishing. It is as if George Washington not only led the American efforts in the Revolutionary War, but if when it was nearly over he were to also write the definitive history about it.

Watch as she summarizes twenty years of education reform in three paragraphs (!) on the third page of the book:

"For nearly two decades, the "reformers" had promised a dramatic transformation in American education, based on their strategy of high-stakes testing, teacher evaluation by test scores, charter schools, and closing low-scoring public schools. They confidently claimed that they knew the answers to all the vexing problems in education. They asserted that they were leading the civil rights movement of our time, funded by billionaires, Wall Street titans, and the federal government, as if the elites would be leading a civil rights movement against the powerful (themselves!). They insisted that when their remedies were imposed, America's test scores would soar to the top of international rankings. No longer would poor children be "trapped in failing schools." No more would children's success be determined by their ZIP code or social status. They all sang from a common hymnal about the failures of public education and proclaimed their certainty that they knew how to turn failure into high test scores for all.


"But despite the investment of billions of federal, state, local, and philanthropic dollars, these malign efforts came up empty. The leaders of this charade had confidently predicted that success was just beyond the horizon. But as so often happens with mirages, the horizon kept receding farther away. None of their promises and claims came true. Judged by their own chosen metrics standardized test scores the fake 'reformers' failed.


"In this book, I will not call these activities and their leaders by the honorable word reform, which they have brazenly appropriated. The individuals and groups who promote test-best accountability, school closings, and school choice as remedies for low test scores are not reformers. What to call them? Others call them "deformers" or the "financial privatization cabal" or the "Destroy Public Education Movement" or "privateers." Such groups and individuals often say their goal is to "disrupt" public education, and I think in this instance they have accurately named themselves. They are Disrupters. They are masters of chaos, which they inflict on other people's children, without a twinge of remorse."

Submitted on Thursday, Jan 30, 2020 at 5:21:20 PM

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