Monday, March 9, 2015

A Scurrilous Attack on "Montclair Cares About Schools"

I was just sent a video, posted  in the comments section of the Washington Post Answer Sheet by an unnamed group attacking the group "Montclair Cares About Schools" some of whose members were featured on the brilliant film about resistance to PARCC in New Jersey,. The film is filled with snippets of comments made at Montclair School Board meetings

I will not comment on the video as a whole, but will point out one aspect of the film that falls within my area of expertise and which is so outrageous that it discredits the entire enterprise

There are two snippets seeking to discredit remarks by Professor Michelle Fine of CUNY Graduate Center, questioning the Montclair school boards claims of progress in Black Achievement. Professor Fine, WHO IS NEVER IDENTIFIED, is not just some random parent; she is one of the most respected Social Scientists in the city of New York, if not the nation, who has published numerous books and articles examining poverty, inequality and educational achievement. Do the makers of the film put forth data by an equally credible social scientist to challenge it? No, they simply
say "the data is correct." No credible education scholar, or indeed any scholar, would respond to an argument made by a scholar of Michelle Fine's reputation this way. And failing to identfy her is unconscionable.This way of handling a serious critique about the Montclair Board's use of data shows the makers of this filmhave no respect for the common rules of evidence,

It shows every sign of being the slick product of people who have no knowledge or respect for the standards of education research or social science research generally.

It is a hatchet job, pure and simple, created by an Astro Turf group which refuses to identify itself.

It shows the desperation of the Big Money Interests behind corporate education reform, whose Civil Rights rationale for their policies is being discredited and exposed.