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August 24th, 2012
02:09 PM ET
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Dan Boyle

    After watching this video, I am dismayed that Ms. Kaye would not be willing to listen to both sides of the issue. She clearly had an agenda in this interview Ms. Ravitch, that public schools are bad and are failing the country. Ms. Ravitch was consistent in her argument about which test scores should be used to measure student achievement and the neutral/negative impact of merit pay. All Ms. Kaye was willing to rebut those statements with were individual examples out of a potentially limitless supply. Please CNN, present both sides at the same time. Give Ms. Ravitch the opportunity to debate Ms. Michele Rhee for more than a 5 minute segment. The truth about America's public schools is out there, if you only choose to look.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  2. Mike Dixon

    What passes for education "reform" is a Trojan horse for privatizing public education and diverting tax dollars meant to educate our kids into the pockets of the already wealthy.

    The proof:

    1. The largest study of charter schools compared to regular public schools showed that only 17% did better, 37% did WORSE than traditional schools, and 46% did about the same.

    2. That record is even less impressive when since charters don't have to follow all the regulations and regimented curriculum that regular schools do, and are free to reject special needs and disruptive students.

    The current model of education reform is designed by the same hedge fund managers and trust fund babies who have outsourced our manufacturing jobs, and intentional scammed the mortgage market, crippling the world economy in the process. If they failed at us in the financial arena, why in God's name would you trust them with your CHILDREN'S EDUCATION?

    August 27, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  3. Andrea floresta

    Why do the other posts keep disappearing? Is it because you don't want the public to know you are partial to the privatization of America's public schools? Maybe you don't want the truth about these snake oil salesmen to be pointed out to your followers? Find the facts and present the facts. That is journalism.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  4. Ellen Rosewall

    Diane Ravitch is a voice of reason in sea of misinformation and I am so glad that she is speaking out, exposing the myth of poor schools and poor teachers for what it is: an attempt to privatize education and create profit, which will cause even more inequity in our schools. For every poorly written letter like the one Ms. Kaye showed, there are dozens and dozens of examples of students who are bright, creative, and making a difference. Teachers work so hard under sometimes miserable conditions and I'm not sure why we are demonizing them.

    August 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  5. sandman1946

    I have previously given comments to CNN...none of them have been answered only deleted. None have been rude or foul language...just deleted. This was not an interview...this was an ambush and showed Randi Kaye did not like being forced to "interview" someone who disagreed with her previous interview. CNN used to take pride that they considered themselves a news source that did not take sides on the issues but tried to seek truth as CNN presented all sides. Apparently that is past history at CNN. The goal is now more sensationalism and choosing sides on issues to bring up the ratings. On this issue of education, CNN has taken to support Michelle Rhee and her supporters and CNN is not open to other opinions on education. Low ratings have created panic at CNN. However, you stand to lose more viewers as CNN tries to repair them with pretty faces such as on The Situation Room, removal of trusted reporters (such as John King's new role) and a move to self promotion on social media with "sensational" comments from your reporters. Randi Kaye should be embarrassed and so should her superiors at CNN. How long will these comments remain here?

    August 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  6. G.M.

    I watched the video when it was broadcast and I am dismayed by the way Dr. Ravitch was not interviewed – but rather questioned which did not produce a balanced interview. I hope CNN considers doing another interview with Prof. Ravitch but with someone who is knowledgeable and without a hidden agenda. I expect better interviews/news reporting than the one I saw.

    August 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  7. Linda

    CNN...what gives? This is the THIRD time you have reopened comments and deleted the past two times.


    August 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  8. Shelley Ritala

    I am so disappointed in Randi Kaye's interview with Diane Ravitch. C'mon, Randi, you can do better, and did, when you were a Minnesota reporter. And I'm disappointed that CNN keeps deleting the comments. Seriously, folks, do you think people don't notice? Can you really not handle the criticism of your biased interview?

    August 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  9. Linda

    THIS is the THIRD time I have posted this comment:

    I actually would like to thank Randi Kaye because some of my 7th graders have a hard time grasping the concept of bias. Once this video is linked I will save it in my Smartboard video folder and use this as an example of a biased interview hosted by a corporation posing as a news network.

    For a class project we will choose a local issue and a few local officials. We will create biased vs. unbiased questions and role play the possible answers/scenarios. Possibly we can contact an adult who is willing to take on some savvy middle schoolers.

    For the non-educator reformy types…..this would be considered an authentic assessment.

    August 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  10. Educator

    I wonder if Ms. Kaye would like us to pick out just one of her interviews and use that as an example of her success as an interviewer. Certainly, if I wanted to show her in a positive way, I would pick out the best one, but if I wanted the opposite, I would look for the worst one she ever did. I doubt that Ms. Kaye would be happy about the latter. But, that's what she did by pointing out one anonymous student and one school district with the idea that the viewers would be duped into thinking that these were representative of all education in the U.S. I hope the public picked up on this kind of prejudicial reporting.

    Too bad Ms. Kaye failed to ask Ms. Rhee for proof of success for all her so-called reforms. While Ms. Rhee would never put herself into a situation where these kinds of questions are asked or her agenda is challenged, Dr. Ravitch was not afraid to defend herself, even when confronted with an obviously combative situation.

    August 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  11. J.M. Tumbleson

    I work in a city with significant amounts of poverty. I see teachers who work hard, who think hard and who try to collaborate with others in order to constantly improve their practice. Never have I heard any teacher argue for merit pay. They will argue for more planning time, they might argue for more services for their students with various social, emotional or cognitive needs, they might argue for more money for special classroom projects, they might even argue for a longer lunch, but never once have I heard a teacher argue for merit pay. The hundreds of teachers I have known want to work collaboratively and see themselves as having a shared mission in which they play an essential role for the community and for the children. The interviewer has been fed disinformation on what most teachers want, most likely from sources that will monetarily profit from the destruction of the public schools.

    August 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  12. schoolgal

    There are better ways to evaluate teachers that don't involve either merit pay or testing. Look at Montgomery County, Maryland. They have a fair and balanced evaluation plan that involves many components among them peer evaluation and staff development for struggling teachers. As a result, student performance is improving.

    As for the poorly-written letter by the student you aired: If spelling and grammar were not taking out of the curriculum, you would see a better letter. Teachers don't make curriculum choices, but we complain vehemently about the lack of math and writing skills we are NOT allowed to teach. Not that I am saying this was acceptable. This student would have been told to circle any words he did not know how to spell and look them up. He would have also been asked to read his letter to "a partner" aloud. In doing so, the student or his partner would discuss the revisions needed. There would be more than one draft of his piece before it would be given to the teacher. That's the "writing workshop model" we are told to follow. It is a process. The piece you put up never went through that process.

    Merit pay doesn't work. It's been tried in so many areas and failed. Also charters are not a miracle cure. More information on how charters "selects" and "counsels out" students in order to fix the scores is now on record.

    Perhaps Ms. Kaye can interview the superintendent of the Montgomery School County to see for herself the reforms Michelle Rhee believes in are NOT the answer. This county resisted RTTT funding in order to keep their evaluation system in place. That's a story that needs to be told. And if you ignore it, you ignore the facts.

    August 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm |

    I once felt that being a teacher was an honorable profession.....Non educators have targeted teachers sooooo badly and soooooo often that's it's almost embarrassing to say that you ARE a teacher! .......when will people on the outside and in the media understand that it really does take a village to educate a child?......Its not just the teacher......I can do bur so much during the school day!.....PARENTS NEED TO STEP UP AND SPEAK UP......Another real issue especially in the NYC DOE is the abuse of power given to principals.....It is CRIMINAL how a principal or supervisor could wake up one day, decide you are no longer effective although you have 10 or more years of successful teaching experience, more than 1 masters degree and begin targeting you.....They themselves are inexperienced educators with little or NO teaching experience. .....You now find yourself fighting for your job!......SOMEONE NEEDS TO DO AN EXPO ON THIS PRACTICE.......AS WELL AS THE UFT IN NYC , who time after time stand by and watch as it's union dues paying members' lives are ruined......Funny how teachers are the most educated of just about ALL city workers but the Big Wigs paint us incompetent....DianeRav keep fighting and speaking up for ALL educators!

    August 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  14. yorksgal

    Having worked in both private and public funded schools – I have seen the results. Both types of schooling produce good results in the children who have it "up top". But for children struggling – they were not accepted at the private schools – public education does a very good job of trying to work with them to give them the skills to succeed.

    The teachers who work in the public arena should be commended – they are given short shrift with regard to curriculum and support. But their hearts are with the children and their success.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  15. kevin mcivor

    I wonder if you considered pointing out that Michelle Rhee ran out of Washington D.C. before the cheating scandals were uncovered at her "highly successful schools"?

    August 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  16. readingexchange

    How about doing the interview over and letting Diane fully express her views and facts?
    I am amazed at her wealth of knowledge. A fair interview would educate us all.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  17. Diane Horwitz

    Regarding the interview with Diane Ravitch. As a graduate of the Chicago public schools and the parent of a former public school student, and a citizen concerned with public education today, I am dismayed with the inability of Ms. Kaye to ask smart, thoughtful questions that would have helped your viewers understand Ms. Ravitch's views. As with others who have commented, her questions revealed a narrow agenda largely supportive of a specific agenda. Ms. Ravitch who has been a long-time researcher, educator, and policy analyst, has smart, nuanced, well-thought through information to share with us. I would suggest you get her back for a more thorough interview, this time with someone who has more knowledge of the complex education issues that face our county, and also a willingness to set aside their own personal agenda, or is it the agenda of CNN. You need to do better than this. Our students, our children are too important!

    August 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  18. RL

    Posting for a second time in praise for Diane. Your dignity born of knowledge shines through. Thank you.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
  19. Mark Collins

    I would pay to see a real debate/ discussion with Dr. Diane Ravitch and Dr. Steve Perry. You can even toss in sycophant RiShawn Biddle for good measure.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  20. Dee Hackett

    Randi Kaye proved herself to be a puppet for the "reform" agenda. Diane Ravitch made her look like the fool she is.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  21. Cosmic Tinker

    Many parents and community members such as myself, who are not union teachers, are very glad to get truthful information about "the state of our schools" in America today from people like former assistant secretary of education Diane Ravitch.

    If only the media would provide accurate information on this very important matter more often, and stop presenting corporate sponsored people like Michelle Rhee, who push for privatization to the benefit of profiteers, as if they care more about our children and schools than we do and know more about education than educators. Clearly, they do not.

    It's very insulting when the media acts like parents and communities are ignorant enough to believe that handing over public education to private entities means we will have more say in our children's schooling. We might as well be outsourcing education to China, as parents have no input in unregulated charters and are not accountable to anyone, let alone the people they purport to serve. We know very well what the bottom line is for corporations, whether they are donors in non-profits or outright investers in for-profits, and it's certainly not us, our communities and our children.

    This is why, in polls, the majority of Americans consistantly give high ratings to our neighborhood schools, the ones we know best, and we assume they're talking about other people's schools when the media claims education is "failing".

    Please bring Ravitch back for an intelligent and accurate discussion about American education today!

    August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  22. David

    Got it! Failed policies in education will be promoted so that charlatans can lined their pockets with tax money.
    I thought journalists were about getting the facts of the story, not promoting agendas.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  23. Joanne Brabham

    My comment from two days ago was deleted, How shameful! Glad to know how things operate at CNN. Maybe now is the time to dig for Randi's ties to the charter school industry.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  24. Alan

    This is now the third – or maybe even fourth – time I am replacing deleted comments of mine. The shenanigans with the comments are becoming even more deplorable than that biased cross examination of an interview. Please stop embarrassing yourselves.

    You could regain some credibility by hosting a discussion between Ravitch and Rhee. Allow the issue to be explored thoroughly by representatives from both sides.

    August 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  25. Bill

    I am greatly disappointed with CNN. I always saw them, maybe naively, as fair and unbiased. After watching Michelle Rhee on CNN earlier in August and Rativich later in the month, I realized I was wrong. I was a regular viewer of CNN programs, and I know their higher-ups wont care, but I refuse to watch any more of CNN's programs until the sitution is corrected, including an apology from Kaye for trying to "get" Dr. Rativich during her interview (a clear sign of bias) and a chance for Rativich to offer her viewpoints fairly (esp. since Michelle Rhee had that same opportunity). Its a shame when I have to honestly say The Daily Show and Colbert Report are the two only news sources I feel I can trust to deliver the news to me...

    I am also confused as to why my comment was deleted. The original comment I made on August 27th at 3:30 p.m is no longer shown. This seems like you do not want to listen to very real issues viewers have with your programming...

    August 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  26. Hripsime

    Wow! My comment was deleted also.

    Well maybe Randi can still tell us what it felt like having her bottom kicked by a 72 year old grandmother.

    August 30, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  27. Eva

    Wow– this wasn't an interview, this was an attack based on faulty logic! And thank you, Diane Ravitch, for not letting the tone and content of these "questions" distract you from the facts. Diane answered with references to facts; the interviewer cited anecdotes and personal opinions as facts then jumped to illogical conclusions. One child writing a poor letter does not mean that all children in the same group write poor letters; a lawsuit claiming that the district has failed in its responsibilities to a community simply does not change the fact that an anecdote is simply an anecdote. Test scores are simply test scores– they mean nothing without considering their content, design and administration. Everyone wants teachers to be paid fairly and recognizing for their contributions. But that requires a fair system that evaluates more than just test scores, particularly scores on untested tests. There are some very real and important issues facing public education today. CNN interviewers should learn about the facts and issues before an interview and base questions on facts, NOT like this reporter!

    August 30, 2012 at 1:09 am |
  28. Oliver

    My comments have been repeatedly deleted as well. CNN is creating their own erasure scandal, similar to the D.C. test erasure scandal under Rhee's tenure as schools chancellor, which has been minimized up with the help of Mr. Duncan.

    August 30, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  29. charlotte

    i know something that needs to stop. the sugar coating of crimes in the schools. like using the word bullying when in fact if you look at what is being done to the victom it is in fact assault/battery. and should be punished as so. if my children were to ever become a victim i would never allow such a sugar coated word to be used to cover up what is really going on. why teach a child that those acts are acceptable or not call them for what they really are. why lie to a child about what is really being done to them. and why let a child get accustomed to doing such a crime and not making them realize just how serious it truly is out in the real world. do you really think it would be called bullying outside of school at a different age. then why set them up for failure. teach them right from the start.

    September 2, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  30. Halcyon

    What a wasted opportunity to get accurate information from a voice of reason in this horrible movement to privatize our schools to the benefit of corporations and detriment of students and parents! The corporate agenda was on full display through this unfortunate puppet not journalist. All prior comments should be taken to heart. Randi, I hope that you will reinterview Prof.Ravitch and just let her speak!

    September 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  31. Thom

    Bad journalism. Randi is not part of the solution, she attacked a society on air. 1000 students do not represent the needs of all students as she suggested. Diane showed us grace and intelligence under pressure of ratings.

    September 19, 2012 at 1:24 am |
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