Ruby Payne: No Love Lost

By Elizabeth Rich — March 10, 2009 1 min read
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Fourteen-year-old video blogger and Ruby Payne detractor John Wittle is making a splash in the edublogosphere with his YouTube appearance. Thumbing through Payne’s A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Wittle questions the educator-slash-consultant’s research methodology:

She hasn't collected any data.

And he questions his district for crowing her the poverty pundit:

...[T]he place where I live, Wake County School being run by people who think Ruby Payne is the only authority on how to interact with poor people.

Schools Matter has seen Wittle’s video and agrees with him:

[Payne] is a marketing enterprise who has probably done more to advance real ignorance about poverty than anyone else in America. The way 14-year old, John Wittle calls her out, is a thing of beauty.

Dangerously Irrelevant offers along list of criticisms by academics (and others, including Wittle) and asks:

First, should districts be spending their monies on a consultant whose work has been accused of being riddled with hundreds of unproven assertions? Whose emphasis on students’ need to change is allegedly so reductionist that it basically ignores the school, neighborhood, societal, political, and other contextual factors that influence the life success of students in poverty?

For more commentary on Wittle and Payne, go here and here.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.