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Saturday, August 7, 2010

What’s in a Name?

August 7, 2010 (GBN News): A controversial Huffington Post article criticizing the noted educational historian Diane Ravitch has caused quite a stir in the educational community. The article, by Natalie Ravitz, has reminded many readers of the recent treatment of Shirley Sherrod, in that statements made over three years ago by Dr. Ravitch were seemingly mischaracterized and taken entirely out of context.

A number of readers have wondered, who is Natalie Ravitz, and why was she hired by the DOE? GBN News investigative reporters have learned that the general lack of knowledge about this particular DOE employee may actually be intentional.

Ms. Ravitz recently replaced the departing David Cantor as Director of Communications for the NY City Department of Education, after serving as chief press aide to Senator Barbara Boxer. There are a number of theories as to why she was hired. Some say Schools Chancellor Joel Klein hoped that her attractiveness would help win over some of the male critics of the Department. Others have postulated that her lack of experience in education – inexperience is a prerequisite in a department headed by an attorney who had no prior educational experience, and which has practically no professional educators in its top ranks - was a larger factor.

But GBN News has now learned the prime reason for hiring Ms. Ravitz – her name. A source high up in the DOE told GBN News, on condition of anonymity, that Chancellor Klein hoped the public would confuse the unknown Ms. Ravitz with the similarly named Diane Ravitch. He reasoned that if readers thought Dr. Ravitch had written the article and was criticizing herself, she would lose all credibility. Paradoxically, the Chancellor also apparently hoped to gain credibility for the press office by counting on the fact that confused readers would think his spokesperson was actually one of the most respected figures in the world of education.

By all accounts, the Chancellor’s “dirty trick” appears to have failed. As of this writing, all of the comments at the end of Ms. Ravitz’ piece have savaged the article and have unanimously supported Diane Ravitch. But as a service to our readers, just to avoid confusion, GBN News will heretofore only refer to Natalie Ravitz as “Andrew Breitbart”.


Leonie Haimson said...

So that's the reason! thanks for letting us onto the secret.

Anonymous said...

AHHHH...thank you for the clarification. Is this another example of Klein completely dissing everyone who is NOT a billionaire?

Anonymous said...

Maybe he thought he was hiring Henry Kravitz?

David M. Quintana said...

Great piece Gary...It really made me laugh.

Pogue said...

This article makes me feel bad for all the Noel Klein's out there.

Anonymous said...

When she's fired he can hire Richard Ravitz

srmsofttech7 said...
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