Unidentified Bloggers Defending Themselves Anonymously

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“People should stand behind their own words…that’s doubly-true of people in public life.”

For those of you who missed it, about two weeks ago Diane Ravitch posted a piece about (and including) a set of emails exchanged between Diane, Raj Chetty, and me (although this post did not include Chetty’s emails as he did not grant Diane permission to share) about Chetty et al.’s now infamous study, the study at the heart of the recent Vergara v. California win (see Diane’s post here). In the comments section of this blog post, a unidentified respondent by the name of “WT,” as in “What The…,” went after me and my review/critique of Chetty et al.’s study, also referenced in this same post. See WT’s comments, again here, about 40 comments down: “WT on June 2, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.”

Anyhow, it became clear after a few back-and-forths that “WT” was closer to this study than (s)he seemingly wanted to expose. Following these suspicions, I wrote that I was at that point “even more curious as to why the real “WT” [wasn’t] standing up? Who [was] hiding behind (a perhaps fictitious) set of initials, or perhaps an acronym? Whoever “WT” [was] seem[ed] to care pretty deeply about this study, not to mention know a lot about it to cite directly from [very] small sections of the 56 pages (something I for sure would not be able to do nor, quite frankly, would I take the time to do given I’ve already conducted two reviews of this study since 2011). Might “WT” [have been] somebody a bit too close to this study, hence the knee-jerk, irrational reactions, that (still) lack[ed] precision and care? Everyone else (besides Harold [another commentator on this blog post]) ha[d] fully identified themselves in this string. So what [was to say] WT?”

Well, “WT” said nothing, besides a bunch of nothingness surrounding his anonymous withdrawal from the conversation string. Perhaps this was Chetty as “WT?” Perhaps not, but I’d bet some serious cash whoever “WT” was was pretty darn close to the Chetty et al. study and didn’t want to show it.

Sooo…now getting to the best part of all of this and how this has, in an interesting and similar turn of events, evidenced itself elsewhere. This video just came out on our local news station in Phoenix about a very similar situation in the state of Arizona and the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction – John Huppenthal – engaging in some equally shady blogging tactics. Do give it a watch if you want yet another check on reality.

View Video Here

2 thoughts on “Unidentified Bloggers Defending Themselves Anonymously

  1. The Video’s not much of a surprise – a few weeks ago the pro Common Core spokesperson for the Department of Public Instruction in North Dakota got caught. He’d set up a gmail account North.Dakota.Schools@gmail and was sending state legislatures and media what he considered derogatory information about some of the people opposed to Common Core in their state//

    I’ve tracked the IP’s from a couple impolite comments on my site back to server’s owned by the Department of the Interior.. So I replied to his comments and plastered it all over twitter with the DOI’s twitter handle included in the tweets.. No more comments from that guy

  2. Audrey,

    I’m flattered to be confused with Chetty (a MacArthur fellow, Harvard professor, and winner of the John Bates Clark medal), just as you ought to be flattered that he took the time from his busy schedule to email you at all. But I’m not him, or anyone who has ever met or worked with him. I have nothing to do with this study.

    This may be hard to believe, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make the critiques I did. Quite literally any reasonably bright college student who had studied econometrics could read the introduction to Chetty’s study, or could search for your quotations, and could easily see that you were misinterpreting the study rather egregiously.

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