Education — March 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm

EAA vendor uses lies to go on the attack against university professor who analyzed MEAP data


When you don’t have facts, all you have left is lies

Diane Ravitch recently posted a piece titled “The Abject Failure of Michigan’s Educational Achievement Authority”. In it, she highlights the excellent analysis of this year’s MEAP test scores done by Wayne State University professor Thomas Pedroni.

Then, in the comments, Pedroni was attacked by someone named Curtis Linton:

Diane, please consider your source. Pedroni has publicly stated he is “a sworn enemy” of the EAA. As a “researcher”, he has never visited an EAA school, never looked to primary sources for evidence in his critiques, and even accuses EAA leadership of being “non-Detroiters” when he is himself a non-Detroiter.

In your analysis, you provide no comparative data to DPS and demographically similar groups. And you have never visited the schools nor talked to currently working EAA leaders and teachers yourself. Visit the EAA. Walk the halls of the schools. Observe classrooms. Talk to students and parents. And then cast your research-based judgment.

The research based interventions you mention are evident within the EAA schools, along with many other research-based programs and initiatives. Much effort is being applied to increase their reach.

Educational reform is hard enough as it is without creating competing camps of opponents.

It’s a pretty damning indictment by Mr. Linton. Unfortunately, it’s all lies. Dr. Pedroni has never called himself “a sworn enemy” of the EAA. He is a bona fide researcher, not a “researcher”, he has visited EAA schools and spoken with teachers, administrators, and students, and he has never accused EAA leadership of being “non-Detroiters” while pretending to be one himself.

A pack of lies designed to discredit Dr. Pedroni and to avoid having to address the fact of Dr. Pedroni’s analysis.

So, who is this Curtis Linton? Other than his name, he doesn’t say who he is in his comments. Dr. Pedroni, however, revealed Mr. Linton’s identity: he’s the co-owner of the School Improvement Network, a corporation that has a $1.1 million contract (PDF) with the EAA as a vendor. You can read Mr. Linton’s bio at the SIN website HERE.

It’s a sign of desperation that EAA allies are coming out of the shadows to distract attention from the powerful evidence that their system is failing students. But, beyond that, it’s disturbingly unprofessional and highly unethical for Mr. Linton to do so on a national education website with tens of thousands of visitors a day without identifying his position as a private vendor to the EAA who is paid with Michigan taxpayer dollars. He has no business parachuting into the comments sections of education blogs and spewing slanderous falsehoods to promote his agenda. If he wants to refute facts, that’s one thing. Engaging in character assassination is entirely another, especially without revealing his connection to the EAA.

Curtis Linton should resign.