SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Introducing Tweed's New Minister Of Propaganda

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Introducing Tweed's New Minister Of Propaganda

The new "Tweed Minister of Propaganda and Blondes," Natalie Ravitz showed the world in the Huffington Post that she knows how to use big words and misrepresent facts. To paraphrase Don Henley, "We got the bubbleheaded bleach-blonde, Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies."

Who or what is Natalie Ravitz? Obviously she is a child of the utmost most privilege. Isn't that the only job qualification to be in Tweed's inner circle? Except of course for being white. And blonde. A nice clueless look goes over well there on Chambers St. But at the age of 30, Missy Natalie has gone right up the ranks. At one time she was the spokesperson for Sen. Barbara Boxer. The same Barbara Boxer who seems to be OK with late-term abortions. She was also a spokes person for some neo-liberal group the Wellstone Action. Now like Ron Ziegler, she has to be the face of Tweed as it enters into the abyss of its demise.

So what is all the hubbub about? Missy Natalie wrote a piece in the Huff Post attacking Diane Ravitch. Not a good idea. I know a blogger that has a serious woman crush on Diane and this blogger is not happy. The worse part is that Missy Natalie just used conjecture and was quite disingenuous in what she wrote. Let's examine.

For the past week, former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch has made it her mission to attack Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein based on what she views as a revelation -- that when the New York State Department of Education made how they grade students tougher, fewer New York City students qualified as "proficient" under the higher bar.

Ain't no revelation. Diane been shouting about it for years as of teachers. Bloomberg/Klein have been exposed as frauds.

The news, which was tough for anyone who cares about our students to hear, was in no way mind-blowing.

You are right! In fact see above. But what I find interesting is that in saying, "in no way mind-blowing," that the fraud was already known within the inner circles of Tweed and that the students and the parents were being intentionally defrauded. I think an investigation might be in order.

But this is nothing new from Ms. Ravitch. Three years ago she wrote in the New York Sun that we need to look at why so many of our kids are "slackers."

Slackers? Did Diane really say that? I think Missy Natalie is confusing Diane Ravitch with Mr Stickland calling Marty McFly a slacker. But what did Diane really say?
Next time there is a conference about the state of American education — or the problems found in each and every school district — why don't we take a hard look at why so many of our students are slackers? Why don't we look at the popular culture and its effects on students' readiness to apply themselves to learning? Why don't we investigate the influence of the role models of "success" that surround our children in the press? Why don't we ask how often our children see models of success who are doctors, nurses, educators, scientists, engineers, and others who enable our society to function and who contribute to our common good?
We here at the SBSB newsroom pride ourselves in delving into the truth, not taking words out of context. Missy Natalie, why didn't you quote the entire passage? Diane brings up some very valid issues that really needs to be addressed. In fact Missy Natalie, have you ever been in the inner city? No, shopping on 5th Ave doesn't count. Do you know what goes on in Brownsville, in Harlem, in Mott Haven, in Melrose? No, I didn't think so.

It is easy to hurl insults from the sidelines.

Ravitch is not on the sidelines. She has her sleeves rolled up and is in the muck. YOU, are on the sidelines. The hedgefund managers are on the sidelines, your bosses are on the sidelines.

Over the past eight years, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein have attempted to better prepare our kids for the rigor and demands of a 21st century economy. One of the ways we are able to measure that progress is with tests, however imperfect a science.

Yes, you are correct. They have attempted and they have failed. You said it. But yet you again take the side of the righteous, "tests, however imperfect a science." So if imperfect, why are we using tests to judge educators?

But if Ms. Ravitch had her way, she'd probably do away with tests all together -- she doesn't believe in a system of accountability because, in her words "children arrive in school with poor attitudes toward learning" and even the best teachers are "not going to make them learn."

I do not believe she has ever said to do away with testing and you know that Missy Natalie. But that sentence, accountability and children's attitudes, is that what Diane said or was that taken out of context?
It's time to stop beating up on teachers and ask why so many of our children arrive in school with poor attitudes toward learning. If the students aren't willing to work hard, if they aren't hungry to succeed, then even the best teachers in the world — laden with merit pay, bonuses, and other perks — are not going to make them learn.
So true. Can the best teacher make a kid come to school? Can the best teacher compare with the pull of the streets? Can the best teacher prevent a child from being abused? Missy Natalie, come see it in real life. Stop seeing things from your through your gilded reality.

Have our students made enough progress? No.

I say AMEN!!! Say it loud sister! And who's fault is that? Gee, you are doing a worse number here on Bloomberg/Klein that you are doing on Diane Ravitch.

But under our critics' logic, the State's decision to make it harder to achieve a grade of "proficient" means all of the progress City students have made over the years is bogus.

It is bogus. Where you been. The bogusticity the last eight years from Tweed though is real.

That's like saying Phil Mickelson is a bad golfer if they make the 8th hole at Pebble Beach 50 yards longer, change it from a Par 4 to a Par 3, and he only scores a 4. Oh, and no one told him they were changing it until after he finished his swing, so he's stuck with his Bogey and the label of sub-par.

This is the most convoluted logic I have ever read. Just out of curiosity Missy Natalie, why did you choose Pebble Beach as an analogy? Why not Van Cortlandt? Oh I know why. Van Cortlandt is a public course and you wouldn't be caught dead there. As far as the changing the par, the US Open tries to make the course as difficult as possible. The rough, the hole location changed after each round. But the opposite is done now with testing. Let's see how easy we can make it.

Ms. Ravitch also dismisses the City's gains on the highly respected National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as "garden-variety."

Yeah, she dismisses them. but let's look at what she said in context.

They pointed to scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress to defend their claims, but this was a weak reed. New York City’s gains on NAEP were garden-variety. Atlanta, Boston and the District of Columbia made larger gains in fourth grade reading and math; Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Diego made larger gains in eighth grade math; and New York City made zero gains in eighth grade reading from 2003-2009, while Atlanta, Houston, and Los Angeles did see significant improvement in that grade and subject.

So the larger story is this: Mayoral control did not turn New York City into a national model. Before promoting mayoral control as the answer to urban education, Secretary Duncan would do well to consider Cleveland, which has had mayoral control since 1995.

Like New York City, Cleveand has participated in national testing from the inception of urban district assessment. Cleveland has made no gains in fourth grade reading or eighth grade reading or fourth grade mathematics or eighth grade mathematics.
She is saying NEW YORK MADE ZERO GAINS!!! What is it Missy Natalie that you don't or can't understand. We are being compared with Cleveland! Yuck!

This is in contrast to last year, when she told the New York Times that the NAEP scores showed "schools long-term have made significant progress."

Here we go again. Something taken out of context.
A critic of the mayor’s education record, the education historian Diane Ravitch, offered a bit of praise.
“I think that it shows that the schools long term have made significant progress, but not in the short term,” she said. Noting the large number of students who did not meet federal standards, she said, “There’s no miracle here.”
Key words used. Bit. Praise. Not. No. Miracle. Here. It's like when I go sopping with my wife and she asks me my opinion on clothes. I say something nice to be polite and so I can leave Nordstroms.

It's another to say that everything they have accomplished thus far is meaningless.

You are so far from the truth. It is a pity. A real pity that you are being used this way Missy Natalie. But you have no clue as what you are talking about. I somewhat doubt that you wrote this yourself, that one of your handlers did and you are the one taking the hear and coming across as ignorant. But if you had any integrity whatsoever you would do the right thing and learn what is really going on.


Anonymous said...

I have a feeling she is going to be sorry she ever wrote that article.

Great post!!

ed notes online said...

People like Natalie are hired guns and good ones would do a hit for us if they were on our side. So who they worked for before is irrelevant. Many of us liked and respected Natalie's predecessor David Cantor - I often told him I am ready to hire him to do PR for Ed Notes - if he would work for a dollar a year. David made his mistakes but Natalie is totally out of her realm.

Be careful on the use of the term "neo-liberal" if you mean ultra-liberal. In fact neoliberals (liberal in Europe comes from the Adam Smith term and is very different from how it is used here) are free marketeers whose ideas are behind the ed deform movement to privatize everything.

I don't know if the Wellstone project is connected in any way to the late Senator who many people revere as the only voice that was respected in the Senate. Some even think his plane crash was not an accident. Wellstone was the furthest you can get from being a neo-liberal as you can get.

I don't follow muc about Barbara Boxer - as a Dem she might support ed deform but I don't really know. She is my fellow Brooklyn College alum I believe. I would be careful bringing up the abortion issue here as part of an attack on Natalie.

David Cantor said...

The Nazi analogy would be despicable even if Natalie weren't Jewish.

Gil C said...

Glad to see someone take the Ravitz piece apart. Poor girl is in way over her head and doesn't know it. For example, her discussion of scores over the last five years deserves scrutiny. NOTE: Funny you pick up on her Pebble Beach reference. She probably would like to think it is a private club; it isn't.
Gil Cass, NYC