Diane Ravitch

Ezekiel Emanuel argues that more tests make students smarter, a proposition which is not as simple as it sounds. The validity of his claim comes down to such questions as "who writes the tests," "how quickly are the results reported," and "how are the scores used."

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Resegregation

In Brown's Wake: Legacies of America's Educational LandmarkBy Martha Minow (Oxford University Press, 304 pp., $24.95) Martha Minow was born in 1954, the same year that the Supreme Court issued its historic decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and, she tells us, has been trying to understand the implications of that decision “since I can remember.” She is well-qualified for the task of interpreting the legacy of that momentous decision.

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From: Diane Ravitch To: Andrew Rotherham Subject: We need to improve our education system—not tinker with models that affect tiny numbers of kids and can’t be replicated. You complain that, in my new book and in this symposium, I fail to provide the way forward or at least a few silver bullets. You say that I do not show the way forward. So let me give it a try. First, the punitive approach embedded in NCLB, in my judgment, has poisoned the atmosphere. Teachers feel fearful, beleaguered, and disrespected. A few months ago, a national survey found that 40 percent of U.S.

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Last week, several top U.S. education policy wonks battled in our online debate about the state of school reform. Among the most contentious issues were testing, accountability, school choice, and the treatment of teachers.

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From: Diane Ravitch To: Kevin Carey Subject: We don't yet have all the answers for fixing American education, but we know current reforms aren't working. So why keep supporting them? I am gratified by the astonishing response to my book, including your appreciation of certain chapters. Yet I didn’t write The Death and Life of the Great American School System to win plaudits from you or anyone else. I wrote it because I had to. I did not intend to “repudiate my ideological fellow travelers,” as you say, but to explain as clearly as I could why I had changed my mind about certain strategies.

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This week, we've gathered some of top names in education policy to discuss the direction of school reform under No Child Left Behind and, now, the Obama administration. At the heart of the conversation is education historian Diane Ravitch's new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, which contends that testing and school choice--the hallmarks of recent reforms--are devastating schools.

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On Monday, we kicked off a symposium about American education reform. Some of the brightest minds in education have come together to debate Diane Ravitch's new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, and its claims that the currentcraze for standardized testing and school choice are undermining student learning.

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From: Diane Ravitch To: Ben Wildavsky Subject: The education reform "consensus" ignores teachers, the very people needed to carry out change in classrooms. Ten years ago, I would have written the same things that you wrote for this symposium. I too would have been hopeful that the business model of schooling would inject new dynamism into American education. I too would have been impressed by the lingo and data-talk of the corporate suits. I too would have imagined that deregulation was the answer to our problems and that the market would produce competition and improvement.

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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.

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Pass or Fail

In my new book The Death and Life of the Great American School System, I argue that the current movement to fix schools will not improve American education. In fact, it may very well harm it. Today’s reformers--few of whom are educators--say that changes in incentives and sanctions and in the governance of schooling will lead to improved achievement. They believe that a stronger emphasis on testing and accountability and an expansion of privately managed charter schools will raise student performance.

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