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The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    A must read!

    Diane Ravitch explores the undermine of public education in such a way that it puts the American school system as it is today in perspective. It really drives the point that schools are being monopolized by testing and students are missing what society believes they should be "learning at school." This book is great for discussion and leaves one thinking about how to change such a large issue in education today.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2012

    A must-read for educators

    Ms. Ravitch’s message is an important one for all educators. NCLB, with its unrealistic goal of 100 percent student proficiency by 2014, has turned our schools into testing factories valuing only what tests measure. This book will hopefully attract the attention of those in position to save our public schools.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    I chose to read this book for my Comp 2 class at OSU, and it was

    I chose to read this book for my Comp 2 class at OSU, and it was definitely worth the read. The book was a easy read but at some points it was little history heavy. Although the history was sometimes excessive, the reasons she provided it were necessary. Ravitch answers all questions when it comes to education reform in the U.S. and informs any reader who is not knowledgeable in the area. Some might think that Ravitch might be a little contradicting considering she was once supportive of all the ideas she is now criticizing, but Ravitch admits to being wrong. She fully accepts that policies she once supported have failed and does not try to hide the truth. She provides all the facts to back up her claims, but did not provide a very clear quality answer to the problems. Even so, she pinpointed the problems with such policies today like No Chil Left Behind, and brought the facts to why they are not working. Over all a good read that anyone in the education world should give a whirl.

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  • Posted March 20, 2012

    Whether you agree with Ravitch or not, you have to give her her

    Whether you agree with Ravitch or not, you have to give her her due--she knows what she is writing about. Her critiques of current education reform efforts are dead on. Turning districts over to business officials turns out to be a very unbusiness like thing to do.

    The only quibble I have is that when she talks about education standards, she is not referring to the latest round of common core standards, which is the new panacea for education.

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  • Posted January 29, 2012

    Interesting Read

    Ravitch's book was an interesting read and gave me a much more thorough historical perspective of how we got to where we are in education today. Although somewhat repetitive, this book did give me hope that there may be positive change ahead for our schools. I appreciate Ravitch's ability to admit she was wrong to support NCLB, and I hope her voice is just the first of many to say that tesing is not the way to improve our education system. This book is a must read for teachers, but more importantly, for parents, administrators, and policy-makers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    a recommended read, especially for new teachers

    For my masters I took courses on how to teach, yet no one prepared me for what I was getting involved in - public education. This book was an eye-opener for me, as I feel it will be for anyone who got involved in education because you wanted to make a difference in students' lives.
    I recommend reading this book for what it can offer you as a learner. It will open your eyes to voucher systems, charter schools, and the business approach to education just to name a few.

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  • Posted January 28, 2012

    An Eye-Opener

    Diane Ravitch's book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, was a thorough look at America's current education system. It allows the reader to wrestle with his or her thoughts regarding No Child Left Behind, the charter school movement, the current trend of running public schools like a business and much more. Most public educators are knowledgeable about many aspects of this book, but Ravitch provides a comprehensive amount of supporting data gleaned from extensive research. Although somewhat repetitive, Ravitch's support of public education is a must-read for educators as well as the general public.

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  • Posted January 24, 2012

    Worth the Read

    Ravitch did her homework when she researched this book. Filled with facts and case studies, The Death and Life of the Great American School System follows Ravitch's journey from pro-testing/pro NCLB to a complete 'hind-site' reversal. Great for a book study/discussion group.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    A must read

    Outstanding information for those that care about our educational system.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    The falsehood of the market approach to school reform vs the democratic and literal approach to school reform must not be politize; but truly be regulated by our educators not political parties

    I applaud this book!! School is reading, writing, and arithmatic. Literacy is basic in our information society. Civic understanding and literacy are essential to our constitutional way of life. I think the author of this book is warning us not to drink the kool aid of accountability and choice as to solution to improving our schools.

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Clever girl!

    Ms. Ravitch, a perfect chameleon, plays both sides of the very high stakes game of messing with public education and wins. She makes money by creating governmental utopian nonsense,then has her epiphany, writes a book and makes more money apologizing for what she did before. She insists that everyone she was in bed with throw themselves on their swords. She washes her conscience clean by biting the hands that fed her. She sets herself up as a great sage of moden education, drops a few cool catch phrases and laughs all the way to the bank. Educators, poor fish have her as a champion? When I think of the human toll, I feel nothing but angry heat! Fool that I am, I bought the book. She wins again!

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