by Ariana Pekary
We’ve had Diane Ravitch on the show before, during our series last year about education reform. Now, she’s released a great new book discussing the history of school reform. In “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education,” Ravitch describes how she was once in favor of testing, accountability (No Child Left Behind), and choice (vouchers & charters) as a way to improve our nation’s public schools. However, over the last four decades she’s witnessed how that approach simply has not produced results and it’s driving the “privatization” of our “public” school system. Instead, she says, there needs to be a focus on curriculum (what is taught) and instruction (how it’s taught.) That opinion goes against the grain of the current reform effort, which is supported by both Democrats and Republicans - so her book gives a very nuanced perspective.
For anyone interested in how to improve the education system, Ravitch’s book is a must read as is her op-ed in today’s Washington Post. You can read it here.
Diane Ravitch’s home page: