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Friday, March 14, 2014

The "Fight" of the Century that Wasn't: What the Promoters Might Have to Do to Pull It Off!

Listening to the NPE Conference, I was reminded that a 75-year old Grandma who kicks butt (apparently wearing Tony Lama boots upon two occasions) can make the likes of Michelle Rhee seemingly quake in her boots.  The Ravitch-Rhee debate was scheduled for February 6, 2014 at Lehigh University.  Hopes ran high!  To me, it seemed on the scale of the Frazier-Ali fights that captivated my oldest brother. 

I never imagined though that "the fight" would be evenly matched.  It seems Rhee knew this, too.  Rhee refused to be in the ring alone with Ravitch.  She asked for seconds.  Ravitch obliged by choosing Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish educator and visiting scholar at Harvard.  Rhee named Rod Paige, the U.S. Secretary of Education under George W. Bush.  Then, Rhee wanted thirds.  Ravitch again obliged by choosing Helen Gym, the foremost of Philadelphia's parent activists.  Rhee then backed out.

So, I am here to propose some conditions that might lure Rhee back to the debate forum:

1.  Dr. Ravitch might wear a blindfold and have one hand tied behind her back.  Rhee might possibly negotiate this into two hands tied behind Ravitch's back.

2.  Dr. Ravitch might have a 124 lb. weight placed upon her as a handicap.  Forget about giving Rhee a 115 lb. weight.  Let her wear only the weight of her own jewelry. 

3.  Dr. Ravitch's microphone might be unplugged.

4.  Rhee might be able to bring bus loads of supporters, all sporting identical "low expectations" posters to the hall.  Maybe they could surprise us all by simultaneously flipping their posters to a "high-expectations" side when Rhee speaks.  These supporters might be welcomed extra early into a cozy, warm room in the complex.  They might be allowed to sign up early for any, or all, available speaking slots.

 5.  Finally, I was thinking Dr. Ravitch might be forbidden any rebuttals, but then I came up with the best idea of them all.  It just might cinch the deal!  What if we had Dr. Ravitch use masking tape to seal her lips?  It worked for Rhee as she launched her career as a stellar TFA-recruit, teaching in Baltimore's Harlem Park.  And, in the case of Dr. Ravitch, no one could point to child abuse--although it would seem to be a clear case of Grandma abuse!  My only question is this:  Will Rhee have the decency to remember to tell Ravitch to lick her lips first to avoid the bleeding experienced by her elementary-school students at Harlem Park?

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