Monday, September 23, 2013

What's Up with all the Stars Deciding They Know Education?

 Update:  So NBC, apparently after receiving many complaints about the makeup of the list of speakers DID call and ask Diane Ravitch to be on a panel.  She declined, saying she didn't want to be a prop.  Good call.

End of update.

NBC News has been having these "Education Nation" summits once a year.  I had high hopes until I heard anchor Brian Williams say that they were being lead by the Gates Foundation.  (It's unclear if that is again the case this year.)

But, you can look at the list of speakers and guess who is underrepresented?  C'mon, take a wild guess.  Yes, that would be teachers.   There's one.

But look who's there - Goldie Hawn, M. Night Shyamalan, Tony Bennett and John Legend.  Boo.

(Not to mention head of Stand for Children as well as Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, Allyson Felix (an Olympic Gold medalist) and two investment bankers.  Double boo.)

Celebrities with a charter school or two under their belt?  Andre Agassi, Pitbull, Jalen Rose (NBA), and Deion Sanders (NFL).

Why are all these stars deciding that if they read one white paper that they know public education?  And why, to almost a person, is it always around a charter school? 

Diane Ravitch has a post at her blog about this issue with a great video.

David Coffey, who created the video, is a teacher of teachers. He is a professor in the mathematics department at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His wife is a first grade teacher. 

He made the video linked above because he found it annoying that a celebrated movie director had written a widely publicized book about how to reform the nation’s schools. These days, it seems that everyone knows how to “reform” the schools, and the farther removed they are from the schools, the more they know. 

He also says:

If you want to know about the achievement gap and ways to address it, read Claude Steele's Whistling Vivaldi.

It is a great read.


Mark Ahlness said...

Education Nation just called Ravitch, no doubt in response to the huge outrage at her not being included, and invited her to sit in on a panel. Here's what she said. Good for her.

Anonymous said...

I've been to a doctor a few times now. Can I be on TV now and tell them how to do their job? I also watch the news occasionally. Surely I am perfectly qualified to run a news department now.


Anonymous said...

My favorite relevant quote (sorry, just have to) from the Get Smart movie alluding to Kaos' planned nuclear attack to kill the US President in Hollywood.

Kaos operative: What about all those actors?
Siegfried: Yes, what will we do without their keen political insight.

Agent 86

seattle citizen said...

Goldie Hawn knows that pasting flowers on her skin, wearing nothing but a tiny bikini, and saying "sock it to me, baby!" provides an excellent role model for young women hoping to advance their careers in profession directions...

Melissa Westbrook said...

Agent 86, Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon) once did an episode where she called herself...Melissa Westbrook. I have not seen this episode but relatives have. (I Googled it and it does exist).

n said...

Well, they could have included Jon Stewart and Matt Damon both of whom have moms who were teachers. I wonder why Goldie Hawn?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Hawn has a foundation interested in neurobiology and education. This is great but I'm not sure why she's the expert to speak on it. (I also think this is a great idea but is there money in any district to be working on an initiative like this?)