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.