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Dr. Ravitch Clarifies Her Message to Bostonians

September 3, 2013

Dear Indignant Teacher:

Friends in Boston have told me that my message to you has been widely read, which is good, but  also widely misinterpreted. I am writing now to be clear what it means to support public education.

It means that public schools should be subject to democratic control. Mayoral control is a very poor substitute for a board that is elected by the people to represent the people. Whoever campaigns for mayor should promise to ask the legislature to restore democratic control of the public schools to the public.

It means that charter schools, controlled by private agencies and corporations, must be subject to public control and oversight. Charter schools must be fully transparent and accountable for their policies and finances to public authorities.

It means that charter schools should enroll the same diversity of students as public schools. They should be prohibited from excluding students with disabilities and students who are English language learners. They should not be allowed to push out or counsel out students they don’t want. They should be required to publish their data on demographics, suspensions, expulsions, and attrition.

It means that a candidate who truly cares about the strengthening of public schools will oppose school closings and pledge to create a process to help schools that are struggling by sending in expert educators to analyze their needs. Do they need smaller classes? Do they need additional bilingual teachers? Do they need a social worker, a guidance counselor, a psychologist? Do they need a library and a librarian? Do they need after-school activities?

It means that a candidate for mayor who truly cares about children will expand pre-school education. He will make sure that all children have access to medical care, at least a school nurse, but also dental care and eye and ear check ups.

It means that a candidate for mayor will oppose lifting the charter cap and focus instead on meeting the needs of the overwhelming majority of children, who will never attend a charter school.

Diane Ravitch

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The Indignant Teacher has had a six-year Boston Latin School education, four years at a University, and two earning a Master’s in Education, yet the most worthwhile education she’s received was the one obtained as a result of studying the work of Dr Ravitch.

It makes The Indignant Teacher even more indignant – even incensed – that any candidate would use her letter to back up support for framing himself as a champion of education when he is a charter figurehead or Stand for Children collaborator.

The real champion of education is the one who is willing to lead the country in refusing to administer any high-stakes tests in his district – to, as Dr Ravitch has said, drive a stake through the heart of the vampire.

It’s time Boston elect that champion. 

Thank you, Dr. Ravitch

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2 Comments
  1. Thank you for all of your hard work. I am not a teacher but I am indignant. And I’ve been tweeting the heck out of your blog.

    If I may, the four candidates for mayor who are on record as opposing lifting the charter cap are Rob Consalvo, Felix Arroyo, Mike Ross and Yancey.

    I do not know about Mike Ross or Yancey, but I know for certain that Consalvo and Arroyo did not fill out the application for Stand for Children’s money or endorsement.

  2. thanks for the support, and for sharing these very important messages!! I think the priority now needs for us Bostonians to demand a moratorium on the testing…that is the first line of defense, at this point…I’m not sure how that could be possible, but we have got to try!!

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