The Ugly Contempts that Guide us

In conversations about my objections to the compulsory nature of public school I often stare into reflections of my old self. It goes something like this:
I’ll say that I am completely against school attendance being compulsory and my friend, relative, acquaintance, or polite enemy will take a few seconds to think then say,
“Yeah, but….you and I would still make sure our children were well-educated – what about all those other people who wouldn’t?” The words vary, but the message is incredibly consistent. The message is that you and I can be trusted with our children, but those other people can’t be trusted with their children. Continue reading “The Ugly Contempts that Guide us”

Diane Ravitch and Whitney Tilson are Irrelevant

I just read this post about the places where Diane Ravitch and Whitney Tilson actually agree…and disagree.

I spend very little time reading posts like these because they seem beside the point to me.

Their main disagreement, or one of them at least, appears to be about school reform. Tilson is for school reform, supporting charter schools, vouchers, and school choice. Ravitch is against school reform, believing charter schools, vouchers, and school choice are harmful to public schools. Tilson seems to think reformers (experts? politicians? academics?)  should be allowed to come in and radically change schools. Ravitch believes educators should be given control over schools.

I’m not too concerned with the nuances of their positions because both arguments seem moot to me. I’m concerned with a much more basic flaw in the entire debate. It reminded me of an argument I once had with a coworker. Continue reading “Diane Ravitch and Whitney Tilson are Irrelevant”