A glimmer of light in the darkness

If you were not at Quinnipiac University (in Connecticut) tonight to hear Diane Ravitch speak about our continuing battle to beat back the corporate education reform industry and re-take control of our nation’s public education system then you not only missed an extraordinary speech, but you also failed to experience the hope that comes with seeing the glimmer of light which serves to push back the shadows associated with these dark times.

One by one Diane successfully challenged the lies and hoaxes being perpetrated by those intent on destroying and privatizing America’s public education system.  Over the course of ninety minutes she left the forces promoting the corporate education reform industry with nowhere to hide.

Her remarks were nothing short of a stark reminder of the words of Rachel Carson, of Silent Spring fame, who once said,

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one “less traveled by”—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth” [Or in this case the most fundamental values of our society].

But in challenging the so-called education reforms at each and every step, Diane left the audience, as individuals and as a collective, with a sense that all is not lost.

While it is true that the task ahead may seem insurmountable, Diane’s words of wisdom and courage and conviction were nothing short of a clarion call to return to the battle field with an enhanced sense of purpose and commitment.

We can and must retake control of public education in this country.  We can renew the appreciation for teachers and the teaching profession and ensure that all of our children are provided with the learning environment, resources, knowledge and skills that they need and deserve to live meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Watching Diane’s car drive out of the Quinnipiac parking lot and head back to New York, I was reminded of Margaret Mead’s profound observation…

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

The other equally profound fact was that none of our state’s leaders, Democrat or Republican, were in the audience tonight.

Thus, even now, that glimmer of light and hope waivers…

But we will not be turned away from our path and the battle will continue.

If you ever have another opportunity to hear Diane speak, don’t miss it.

Till then, read her blog at www.dianeravitch.net.  It is not only a vital source of information, but you’ll benefit from the hope and light that it provides.

  • Also, yesterday, Trinity College’s Robert Cotto introduced the acronym G.E.R.M. (Global Education Reform Movement) to academia for the first time in the U.S.

  • CTedFromTheTrenches

    I’m extremely disappointed that I couldn’t be there tonight. I hope that all in attendance share the same feelings which you expressed in tonight’s blog.

  • Linda174

    Please check #ravitchinCT. She was wonderful as usual. “Reformers” need to pay attention. The tide IS turning.

  • Charlie Puffers

    Rachel Carson also said “If I had influence with the good fairy …I should ask that her gift to each child be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against … the alienation from the sources of our strength.” Last night Diane eloquently reminded us that good public schools can be a source of strength for a child, a community, a city, a state, a nation and especially for democracy. Robert Cotto introduced G.E.R.M. yesterday at Trinity College. We cannot let this billionaire’s disease destroy that “sense of wonder” each child brings to school. Jon is right – the battle will continue.

  • paulbogush

    I went to a (anti) common core rally on Sunday. The main/only/most popular(?) anti-common core group in the state organized it. 30 People showed up. One cannot confuse a persons need to show up for a Diane Ravitch rally with a willingness for action.

    For those of us that live our edreform lives on the internet, we can’t forget that the internet tends to amplify ideas and trends. I still only know less than a handful of people face-to-face who are concerned about the edreform movement and common core. It is great that Diane drew a crowd, but the event will only be successful if some in the crowd are moved to action.

    It does show a glimmer of light, I can remember when there was none, and hopefully some more light will come out of it.

    • CTedFromTheTrenches

      Not all of us confine our actions to the internet… However, you’re correct. More people need to infiltrate the ranks of CEA and AFT. More people have to attend county forums and voice their concerns to legislators. More people have to submit editorials to local newspapers and call in to radio programs. I know plenty of teachers who are disgusted, but most are either complacent, or unwilling to believe how dire the situation actually is.

    • R.L.

      I for one didn’t even know about it. Maybe in the future, for events such as these, you can post an announcement here. Maybe there are other sites where people go where you can also post announcements. We don’t all visit the same sites.

      • CTedFromTheTrenches

        I checked Quinnipiac’s website days prior to the event, and it wasn’t even listed in the ‘New & Events’ section of their website. That’s pretty sad.

  • GE2L2R

    Diane Ravitch has been THE single most important national voice of inspiration and reason in this entire debate of the worthlessness of the current reform movement. Both of her previous books were wake-up calls which are only now gaining momentum. Kudos to her for realizing the threat(s) to public education in the US and for spear-heading the resistance to these threats.

  • Jim Spellman

    Diane Ravitch vs. Bill Gates . Humanist Education Expert vs. Technocrat Corporate Amateur . Ideas vs. Millions
    Good guys win until the $ factor comes in to play .
    Will take more fight than is currently being shown to win this one .

  • I wholeheartedly agree that Diane left us “with a sense that all is not lost”. I had been feeling otherwise for too long, ignoring my own blog on the subject, and wanting to just get my own kids through all this as unscathed as possible.

    Someone told me last night that Diane was preaching to the choir. But you know what? Sometimes the choir needs a reminder that the song is worth continuing to sing.

    People are waking up. It is going so much more slowly than many of us would wish, but it is happening. Just this last week a teenager from Milford brought up Common Core as I talked with her about her brother’s hockey game. *She* brought it up! The whispers are getting louder; more and more people are learning about CC and the excessive testing. What is needed now is for us to help empower these people to take back education.

    It was also heartening for me to see so many students there. They are our future teachers and need to know what they are walking into.

  • buygoldandprosper

    Sarah rules!

  • Pingback: Jon Pelto: A Glimmer of Light in the Darkness | Diane Ravitch's blog()

  • Linda174

    What was omitted…our dues pays for this: