Yesterday I responded to an article in The Atlantic claiming that Michelle Rhee was actually a “lefty” and was “taking over” the Democratic party.

I responded to the article.

Others have said that the writer, Molly Ball, was sending out an automated reply, but I got something slightly different.

What she says here is that she doesn’t understand why a Democrat would not support for-profit charter schools; or work closely with Governor Chris Christie to strip teachers of tenure and seniority; or work with Governor Rick Scott to promote privatization of public schools; or work with Governor Mitch Daniels to push vouchers through the legislature; or accept an award from the rightwing American Federation for Children in company with Governor Scott Walker.

What she says is that there is no difference between Democrats and Mitt Romney on education.

I hope that President Obama makes clear what the differences are.

Here is our exchange:

Hi Diane, thanks for the feedback. My intent with the story was not to mediate 
yet another round of the education-reform debate, but to illustrate the 
political inroads Rhee and her ideas have made, while noting, as you do, that 
they remain quite controversial. 

To answer your rhetorical questions, I don't see why a Democrat can't do any of 
those things. 

From: Diane Ravitch []
Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2012 6:05 PM
To: Ball, Molly
Subject: From Diane Ravitch re Rhee

Would a Democrat work to promote a for-profit chain?

Would a Democrat work with Republican governors Rick Scott, Chris Christie, and 
Mitch Daniels?

What part of Rhee's agenda differs from that of the most rightwing Republicans?

What Democrat would have accepted an honor from the far-right voucher-loving 
organization American Federation for Children, which simultaneously honored 
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker?

Nothing that Rhee advocates has ever succeeded.

Neither charters nor vouchers nor merit pay nor evaluating teachers by test 
scores has any evidence of improving education.

Diane Ravitch