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.