Drinking the Kool-Aid

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jan 08 2012

I would have blocked you, too

I was sad I couldn’t comment on your doozy of a first post! Can’t wait to read more (that sounds sarcastic, but it’s not. Welcome).

So first let me say that THIS is sole reason I can’t quiiite get on board with DR and her crowd:

@DianeRavitch@TomBurr When you start teaching, let me know how you feel about being judged by changes in your students’ scores, esp those absent.

I feel damn good about it, considering that’s, you know, my job. I love realism, but “if nobody’s learnin’, ain’t nobody teachin.”


That said, if you’d said things like “RTFM” and “why are you so lazy?” to me, I would have blocked you, too. That’s just rude, and not something I’d like to see on my feed. Public figure or not, she has the right to block churlishness from anyone.

15 Responses

  1. tmb11


    Thanks for cluing me into the fact that I had comments blocked, wasn’t aware. Believe I have altered the settings, let me know if I haven’t.

    I acknowledge I was rude, and it’s probably never deserved.

    My rudeness, however, is relatively harmless compared to the disservice she does to academia and debate.


    • Wess

      Still can’t comment.

      Maybe relatively harmless, but also a perfectly good reason to be blocked. Your post makes it sound like blocking you on twitter is the problem.

      Also, I think I’d read her deleting the tweet as her acknowledging she was wrong. While it’d be pretty big of her, I don’t think you should necessarily expect a full public apology.

  2. Yeah, his blog doesn’t allow comments…pretty funny for a post complaining about Ravitch not taking his feedback.

    My favorite part was the part where he got mad that Ravitch didn’t respond to his tweet within 15 minutes.

  3. tmb11

    Parus, I’m responding to your feedback here and am new to this site. Trying to figure out how to get comments working. Possible delay between what I did on dashboard and it going into effect.

    Wess, I can see how it comes off that way, but my main problem is not her blocking me. It’s that when she asks question after question like that, she has a responsibility to acknowledge answers received.

    • Wess

      Maybe true. But did she stop asking the questions?
      I think especially on Twitter, it’s okay for someone to want to save face.

      • Tom

        I disagree.As the intellectual leader of the anti-testing anti-reform movement, she uses twitter as a primary vehicle for her argumentation. As a public figure, she deserves to be held to a higher standard.

  4. Tom, refer to TFA core value #5. I admire your boldness, but your particular tack will no more change minds than a street evangelist would by telling pedestrians that they’re going to hell.

  5. CY

    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.

    • A pox on Diane Ravitch. If she really cared she’d be solving education’s ills in 140 characters or less!

      Forget traditional academic journals, books, or even mainstream newspaper and magazine articles…Twitter is where the real scholarship is nowadays.

      • Wess

        Haha! Touche.

        • CY

          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).

          • This kind of faith in soundbite solutions is, in my opinion, a large part of why US politics, including the politics of education, is in such a lamentable state.

          • I mean, honestly, she’s an elderly lady with how many hundreds of publications and speaking engagements on the subject of public education. Criticizing her contribution to the public dialogue on the basis that she’s TWITTERING incorrectly is such a reach. Regardless of whether one agrees with her conclusions or stances, it is disingenuous to act like she’s been failing to communicate seriously about the issues or is reluctant to pass on her acquired knowledge and perspective.

  6. Gary Rubinstein

    Wess, Standardized test scores, I think, don’t give an accurate picture of how much some students have learned — particularly students that struggle. So a student can get 80% of every question right, but still get a 0% on the test since they got every question wrong as there is no tolerance for error on a multiple choice test. Of course when you teach something and give your own test (which has, I’m sure partial credit) you don’t mind that. But I have trouble believing you feel ‘damn good’ if you are blamed for low test scores for a student who was excessively absent from your class.

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