From: Ben Wildavsky To: Diane Ravitch, Richard Rothstein, and Kevin Carey Subject: Ravitch misunderstands the roles of charter schools, teacher professionalism, and bipartisanship in education reform. Diane, I appreciate your spirited rebuttal to my essay. I’m not surprised to hear you repeat what you say in your book--that you have no objection to the market economy per se (although you somewhat undermine your case when you toss around silly phrases like “corporate suits”). It is the entry of market principles into public education that bothers you.
Has education reform failed America's children? According to outspoken education historian Diane Ravitch, the answer is yes. In her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, the one-time supporter of No Child Left Behind explains why she thinks the biggest attempt to overhaul U.S. education in recent memory has floundered.
Almost 20 years ago, as a young editor at The Public Interest, I wrote an admiring review of The American Reader, an anthology compiled by Diane Ravitch. At the time, a battle was raging over multicultural education, and Ravitch joined the fray with a wonderful collection of speeches, songs, essays, and poems spanning the nation’s history.