Thursday, September 12, 2013

Diane Ravitch in Pgh September 16

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"New Post :
Massive state budget cuts; school closures; larger class sizes; fewer teachers; a dramatic increase in high-stakes-testing; historic cuts to arts education, tutoring, and other student programs. Our children can't take any more! De-funding and privatization are damaging our public schools and hurting our poorest students and communities of color the most.

If you do just one thing this month for education justice, please come be a part of the conversation with national leader Diane Ravitch. She is the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, an education historian, best-selling author, and named a "Whistle-blower extraordinaire" by the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Ravitch will be in Pittsburgh on September 16th for the national launch of her new book, "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools".

She is being hosted by a new grassroots coalition called Great Public Schools (GPS) Pittsburgh, which consists of Action United, One Pittsburgh, PA Interfaith Impact Network, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, SEIU, and Yinzercation. The event is co-sponsored by Carlow Univ. School of Education, Chatham Univ. Department of Education, Duquesne Univ. School of Education, First Unitarian Church Social Justice Endowment, PA State Education Association, Robert Morris Univ. School of Education & Social Sciences, Slippery Rock Univ. College of Education, Temple Sinai, Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Education, and Westminster College Education Department.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be at Temple Sinai in Squirrel Hill (5505 Forbes Ave / 15217) at 6PM. Doors open at 5PM and seating is on a first-come basis. We are expecting an audience of 1,000 people, including many of our local and state policy makers. Come early to enjoy incredible student performances during the 5 o'clock hour. Children's activities will be provided by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the HearMe Project at Carnegie Mellon University.

Mystery Lovers Bookshop will also be on hand with copies of Dr. Ravitch's book. This is actually the evening before Dr. Ravitch's book is officially released and we here in Pittsburgh will be the first in the nation to see it!

We are urging everyone who cares about public schools to come be a part of this event.

Be sure to let people know about the Facebook event page -- and RSVP there yourself, if you haven't already. Please also invite *your* friends to join on Facebook.

I hope you can come!  "


Anonymous said...

For those unfamiliar with Squirrel Hill can anyone supply a bit of parking advice? I live in a permit parking neighborhood and have developed a parking phobia.

Questioner said...

It should not be a problem to park nearby on the street, especially if you arrive a little early.

Anonymous said...

Watching this was an hour well-spent.

Anonymous said...

Thank You so much for posting this link! I remember clearly when the deformers released waiting for superman the district actually hosted a viewing for central office and principals! What a shame that they haven't hosted a screening for the inconvenient truths about that mockumentary! You were right, that was an hour well spent! Pittsburgh Parents watch this now, your school might close next year and you can learn how to organize now by watching this!

Anonymous said...

Someone please explain this to me if you can. I am a Diane Ravitch fan. She is not a Bill Gates fan. Bill gates is a source behind privatization of public schools. Our union supports Bill Gates and his money in our school system... and they are cosponsoring this event??????????????? Diane Ravitich has an entire blog filled anti Gates posts. The union supported bringing him into our system and now they sponsor an event that is against his initiatives??????

Anonymous said...

Easy answer-- union lies. Early on as RISE was rolling out I was at a meeting where Nina said, "dont you all love RISE?" We all said NO- it is subjective and a con to get rid of teachers... she babbled on about how "wonderful " it is...NO Connection with reality

Anonymous said...

The Diane Ravitch speech last nite was disappointing at best.

There were so many inconsistencies in her thinking that you were left with many questions that no one asked ---and had no opportunity to ask.

Questioner said...

Like what inconsistencies?

Anonymous said...

Let's start with "testing", Questioner. Ravitch advocated for testing that is diagnostic which all testing should be when used correctly. So, that should have been explicitly put before the audience.

(She was absolutely correct in the criticisms of how "testing" is used by many, but that is the "error" of those "many". She failed to make that point.)

She didn't identify standardized testing nor did she mention the PSSA or Keystones or the CDTs indicating a lack of understanding about the differences in summative and formative in PA.

It would have been helpful to ALL if she had used the opportunity to make distinctions instead of lumping all of very vague references regarding "testing" to her ultimate goal of selling her book and pleasing all members of a very diverse audience__diverse only in status and position not race.

Note that there were not more than five African Americans in the hall if you don't count the photographer and the minister. She used "poverty" and "racial segregation" as excuses when in fact both of those postures have been and should be categorically dismissed.

All children can learn (even the poor and Black students) when taught by knowledgeable, competent, experienced and caring teachers. It is a FACT.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing event! I heard that Dr. Lane remarked on her way out that she actually agreed with more than she thought she would.

So many of the comments I have read on this blog were validated by Dr. Ravitch. Segregation and poverty are the causes of poor test score performance. The accountability era is a hoax--our schools are not improving. Social conditions must not be ignored.

Closing more schools will not accelerate student achievement.

We, teachers/parents/communities can fix our under-resourced and forgotten schools. Without high-priced consultants and Gates initiatives that don't work!

Please check out Great Public School Pittsburgh to join the grassroots education coalition. Take the online survey. The results of this community survey will be shared with the District and the consultants trying to Envision Our Future--Without Us!

Questioner said...

Majority white audience but definitely more than 5 African Americans. She stated that poverty is not an excuse but rather something to be addressed not just by teachers if children are to have the best chance to succeed. In general, light on supporting facts and figures; maybe they will be in her book.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a majority of white in the audience, perhaps due to the location of the event. Pittsburgh adults tend not to cross neighborhoods either, so this is something to consider.

Anonymous said...

Once again, 9:23 pops in to castigate teachers. what a surprise. I can smell her posts from a mile away.
Here is someone who consistently enjoys bashing teachers. Here is someone who refuses to acknowledge that good education begins in the home. No, she'd rather give absentee parents a free pass. In her way of thinking, the teacher should also be daddy and nursemaid, all in one. To her, THAT'S good teaching.

And to read that Linda Lane agreed with anything Diane Ravitch had to say is hilarious. As soon as she got back on Bellefield Avenue, it was all forgotten. Just a bad dream. Lane got back to the business of cutting teachers and their salaries through the ruse of RISE. It is being employed to simply dump salary.
This year's roll out of the 3F area of RISE makes it clear...a clear example of the noose being tightened around the veteran teachers' necks. Just watch the board minutes over the next two years and see who is either being terminated or "resigning."

As for MS.Ravitch, it is wonderful that she has had an epiphany of conscience but it is too little, too late. As part of the cacophony of big money entrepreneurs who enjoyed looking philanthropic while expressing their own misguided views about what's wrong in education, it was a wonderful surprise to people like Gates and Broad that "giving" millions also allowed for the enactment of their ideas, however insane. Ravitch thought those were sound ideas. Sorry Diane, the bus left long ago and many, many great educators were left behind, laying in the ditch. It's nice that there you are screaming at the bus, but it doesn't mean too much, even if one of the drivers claims to have heard you.

Anonymous said...

Not Linda's first lie-- I have sat and heard her talk on and on about how wonderful sone program / staff is, and when she strolled out-- to another meeting...the "praised group" discussed the crap she said to principals-- cut this program and you can save! And another quality program goes down.

Anonymous said...

All children can learn but not all children can learn to the same level or meet the same potential. Otherwise everyone in society would be able to be a doctor, scientist, chemist, etc. Let's face the fact that not everyone in society has the potential to be in these positions. Yes, they can aspire, to be these things. Yes, they can "Dream Big", Yes, they can Work Hard". However, even if some do this, we still must face the fact that unfortunately some people do not progress at the same rate or meet the same potential as the next person. Today's numbers game expects all children to become proficient or advanced on these standardized tests. It simply is impossible, we need to begin to value what children bring to the table and nurture their strengths to help them reach their fullest potential - no test can measure that!

Anonymous said...

Last post was in response to "All children can learn (even the poor and Black students) when taught by knowledgeable, competent, experienced and caring teachers. It is a FACT"

September 17, 2013 at 9:23 AM