Diane RavitchÑformer assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculumÑexamines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch critiques todayÕs most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and the feckless multiplication of charter schools. She shows conclusively why the business model is not an appropriate way to improve schools. Using examples from major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego, Ravitch makes the case that public education today is in peril.
Ravitch includes clear prescriptions for improving AmericaÕs schools:
- leave decisions about schools to educators, not politicians or businessmen
- devise a truly national curriculum that sets out what children in every grade should be learning
- expect charter schools to educate the kids who need help the most, not to compete with public schools
- pay teachers a fair wage for their work, not Òmerit payÓ based on deeply flawed and unreliable test scores
- encourage family involvement in education from an early age