Along The River

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 08 2012

In My Defense

After  being sarcastically baited by blogger on this site and reading a post that (I believe) referenced a comment of mine, I’m feeling the need to defend myself. I’ve made, apparently, some controversial comments about Diane Ravitch and Twitter.

My comments are as follows: “TMB’s tweets and post aside, I have yet to see DR offer a single solution via Twitter. She certainly offers a million criticisms. To be fair, I have not yet read her book, though I do own it. She also phrases questions in a way that makes them seem rhetorical when they actually are not, which I think might be a large part of TMB’s problems with her.”

“She certainly manages to criticize (repeatedly) in 140 characters or less. I would like to see her put forth one tiny little idea over a medium she clearly finds so useful for getting a message across (or she wouldn’t be spending inordinate amounts of time tweeting and retweeting).”

Based on peoples’ responses, it seems as though I am somehow grievously insulting the scholarship of Diane Ravitch by asking that she proffer some solutions to our education problems via what seems to be her favorite medium for public communication. I’ve been following her on Twitter for about 6 months, and I have not seen her offer her ideas on what can be done, only her ideas on what shouldn’t be done. If I didn’t know better, I’d be thinking that the status quo suits her because all she seems to do is criticize those who are trying something different.

I’m not arguing that ed reform is going in the right direction. I’m not arguing that TFA is the answer. I’m not arguing anything on the basis that I’m a savior teacher (FAR FROM IT!). I’m just saying that I would like to see more positive ideas in her tweets. I value the perspective she brings. People in any movement should listen to their most ardent critics. And in many respects, her criticisms of TFA are on the money.

I’m eager to read and hear what she has to say about what we can do better for our students. I just wish she made it as easy as reading and hearing what she has to say about how we are damaging them.

And yes, I should read her book, but in my first year of teaching I don’t have a ton of leisure time.

One Response

  1. Hey- your comments aren’t that far off. Ravitch has been increasingly cynical and critical in recent months stemming I believe from her role as leader of the “teacher’s union side” if there is such a thing. It’s like her against the billionaires and TFA is how she sees it. I keep a document with ideas for posts as they come to me and the Ravitch was one that you just happened to bring up. Nothing personal! I also read her Bridging Differences (her blog). She’s gone from being a TFA-skeptic to being extremely Anti-TFA, though she used to be a little more receptive. We just need to keep the dialogue open. You have good points, keep on blogging! ;)

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