Friday, July 01, 2011

Ravitch Article Part II


Asked for her take on these recent tempests, Ravitch emailed, "Why are conservatives so afraid of me? Why invest so much energy attacking a 73-year-old (as of July 1) historian who has been writing about education for 45 years? What's their problem?"

There are two answers to these silly questions: first, it's not fear, but (grudging) respect.  As much as I hate the way she twists data, makes misleading arguments, and outright lies at times, I have to admit that she's very clever and effective.  For the vast majority of people who don't know any better, her arguments sound reasonable, so she's very persuasive (especially because she used to be one of us).  Secondly, she's extremely effective at spreading her lies and distortions far and wide.  I'm in awe of how prolific she is.  (Heck, she makes me look lazy!  But it's not a fair fight: I have three full-time jobs, co-running money management, investment conference and investment newsletter businesses.)  So, in summary, she's a frequent target because she's very good at what she does, being the spokesperson for the forces of the status quo.

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