In a recent blog post, education historian Diane Ravitch belittled two teachers who happen to disagree with her and school principal Carol Burris on the merits of higher standards.
Honest differences of opinion are one thing. But describing these teachers’ words as “silly” and “embarrassing” simply because they don’t share your views should be out of bounds. No matter where you stand on the issues, we can all agree that we need to make it absolutely safe for teachers to express themselves without feeling bullied or humiliated by people with a large public platform.
Ravitch points out concerns from some in the early childhood community about meeting Common Core standards with young children. As a father of young public school students and someone who worked alongside some of the nation’s leading experts in child development, I think an ongoing debate about the best way to raise standards in the early grades is needed and important. But belittling comments stifle rather than support that debate.
It’s also disingenuous for Ravitch or anyone to suggest that someone lacks credibility solely because of an affiliation to a certain organization. Whether you are linked to foundations, unions, or others, what matters is the strength of your argument, not the source of your funds.