At least according to this post by Alexander Russo I am, along with Anthony Cody, Nancy Flanagan, Caroline Grannan, John Thompson, and Leonie Haimson. As Russo writes:
There's a strange dynamic going on inside the online education reform debate in which the well-funded reformers play the role of wimpy David and the scrappy traditional educators are Goliath.He then goes on to write
As anyone who reads education sites or goes on Twitter knows, "reform critics" -- they're still working on a better term to describe their views -- have a slew of current teachers and veterans out there talking about their classroom experiences and opinions nearly every day. Nancy Flanagan, TeacherKen, Anthony Cody, and John Thompson to name just a few. It's not just that they're out there shouting randomly into the wind, either. At least some of them seem to be coordinated behind the scenes by SOS or PAA or Leonie's listserv, bird-dogging individual sites -- Caroline Grannan seems to have been (self-)assigned to this site -- and converging on a blog post or Twitter comment (as happened to me last week when I first posted on this topic). If past experience is any guideline, the comments here and Twitter RTs will come from them.Not that Russo is biased or anything, except he ends this post with this:
I'm not taking sides here as to who's more right or more wrong (most everyone's wrong, far as I'm concerned). And perhaps there are bloggers and commenters out there I've missed in my looking and asking around. I put out a call for school-based reform-positive voices last week and am happy to continue to learn more.
Anthony and Nancy are friends and professional colleagues. We are all members of the Teachers Leaders Network. We were all on the steering committee for last summer's Save Our Schools March and National Call to Action. Nancy and I continue as elected members of the steering committee of the ongoing Save Our Schools effort.
I have never met Carolyn Grannan. She and I have been active participants in the Assessment Reform Network of FairTest for years. I have also never met Leonie Haimson, although we have occasionally exchanged emails, as I have with many people concerned with public education. As for John Thompson, the first connection I ever had with him was when emails began after Russo's post went up and he tweeted it.
I have been involved with issues about education for more than 15 years, starting with my participation at the Assessment Reform Network and the old bulletin board of Education News. I began blogging on education here at Daily Kos in 2004. I ran education panels at the two Yearly Kos conventions, at Las Vegas in 2006 and Chicago in 2007.
I acknowledge having been very critical of much of the reform movement. I have posted many times on the problems I see. I was critical here and on Twitter about Education Nation.
But for Russo to imply that those he includes in the "reform" movement - which would include many of the Gates and Broad funded initiatives, including the likes of Michelle Rhee and Teach for America and Education Nation, and so on - are Davids and those of us who lack such funding are in any way "goliaths" is laughable. If anything, it is the other way around.
Russo's problem seems to be that he thinks he is more important than he is. During the twitter exchanges on his piece, he argued that fact that people like Anthony and Nancy and I were responding to him, 'reformers' weren't, nor were many other classroom teachers seems to indicate little more than his lack of understanding of how Twitter works - we were mentioned, so it showed up in our twitter feeds, and thus it was logical for us to respond. For Russo to assume that everyone involved in educational discussions on Twitter is paying attention to him is laughable.
He tweets as follows:
a@anthonycody there are roughly 3 million teachers out there - how come there are only 10 or 20 of you raising these issues?He is wrong on his facts, since I have dozens of my followers who raise such issues, and in fact i get many of my followers precisely because i raise such issues.
Anyhow, as a classroom teacher who blogs and tweets on his own time after fulfilling his responsibilities to his students to be called a Goliath is amusing. Frankly, I see myself - and Anthony and Nancy and the others - as far closer to David. Our use of social media may well be our slings, in which case the "reformers" and those who shill for them - like Russo - probably should be worried.
What do you think?