Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, August 17, 2012

CNN Does "Gotcha" Interview With Ravitch After Softball Interview With Michelle Rhee (UPDATED)

Diane Ravitch posts the following:

I taped the interview a few minutes ago.

It airs tomorrow at 9-10 am EST.

It was a gotcha session.

This is the letter I sent to my contact at CNN.

This was one of the most biased interviews I have ever done, and I have done many.
Randi Kaye asked me about NAEP scale scores, which was technically a very dumb question, and I was stunned.
She thinks that a scale score of 250 on a 500 point scale is a failing grade, but a scale score is not a grade at all.
It’s a trend line.
She asserted that the scale scores are a failing grade for the nation.
That is like saying that someone who scores a 600 on the SAT is a C student, because it is only 75% of 800. But that’s wrong.
The scale is a technical measure. It is not a grade, period.
Then she asked me about an issue in Michigan, which fortunately, I had written about. But it was clear she was trying to blindside me.
The point of her question was to blame teachers, and I refused to be pushed into her trap.
Then she read two hostile comments about my CNN post and asked for my response.
Was that supposed to be a balanced or fair interview?
There was no effort to elicit my views, only a determination to prove me wrong and to assert that US education is terrible.
Shame on CNN.

I have already called and expressed my disgust that CNN did a hit piece on Ravitch after doing a softball interview with Rhee.

I also noted that since CNN's ratings are in the toilet and nobody really watches the channel anymore, if Ms. Ravitch goes on another news network and responds to the CNN attack, more people will hear and see her anyway.

You can leave feedback about Randi Kaye, the CNN "journalist" who conducted the attack interview here:

You can call and leave feedback here about the interview verbally here: 404.827.1500 option 1. That's the "News Tip" line, but they'll transfer you.

Shame on CNN indeed.

UPDATED - 2:33 PM:
Diane notes that people should see the interview before we make comments to CNN about it. She is right, of course. But given the softball nature of the Rhee interview and then the post Diane put up about how her own interview with Randi Kaye felt so adversarial, this seemed like just another example of the corporate media promoting a corporate reform agenda while giving short shrift to progressive education and it's hard to not get emotional about the whole thing. Especially with the track record we have lately of so many anti-public school/teacher bashing pieces like Waiting for Superman, NBC's Education Nation, Won't Back Down, etc. showing up.

Still, a good lesson for me - wait to see the interview before reacting to it. Wait to see the movie Won't Back Down before reacting to it. Okay - lesson learned. (Except I probably won't be seeing Won't Back Down because I don't want to give the producers of that movie my $12 bucks!)


  1. So is there anyway to watch this?


  2. I've seen Randi Kaye do a fair interview based on facts, so I can only imagine that she was heavily influenced by Diane's enemies to do otherwise.


    This is the letter I'll be mailing. I watched the segment and it was saddening. If ever you doubted that the attack on public education is coming from powerful,organized and insulated groups-look no further. Regardless of the weak reasoning and unwillingness to debate facts comprehensively (OR consider the groups "reforming" and their motives)the "crazies" rage on. You cannot attack reason, democracy and the public unless you have dollars and policy on your side. And if you have one, clearly you can get the other.