The Death And Life Of The Great American School System

The Death And Life Of The Great American School System

by Diane Ravitch
     
 
A passionate plea to preserve and renew public education, The Death and Life of the Great American School System is a radical change of heart from one of America's best-known education experts. Diane Ravitch - former assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum - examines her career in education reform and repudiates

Overview

A passionate plea to preserve and renew public education, The Death and Life of the Great American School System is a radical change of heart from one of America's best-known education experts. Diane Ravitch - former assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum - examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch critiques today's 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 America's 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 ''merit pay'' based on deeply flawed and unreliable test scores encourage family involvement in education from an early age The Death and Life of the Great American School System is more than just an analysis of the state of play of the American education system. It is a must-read for any stakeholder in the future of American schooling.

Editorial Reviews

Alan Wolfe
Attending high school in Houston in the 1950s, Diane Ravitch came into contact with a teacher named Ruby Ratliff. A passionate lover of literature and a fierce editor of homework, Ratliff, following Tennyson, told Ravitch "to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." The student evidently followed the teacher's advice. Ravitch, a historian of American education and assistant secretary of education under the first George Bush, has long sought to find out what makes schools work. She has now found what that is, or at least what it isn't: choice and testing. Her case against both is unyielding. Ravitch was lucky to have Ratliff as her teacher—and we are lucky to have Ravitch as ours.
—The New York Times
Library Journal
Ravitch (education, New York Univ.; EdSpeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon), former assistant secretary of education with over 40 years of experience in educational policy, provides an important and highly readable examination of the educational system, how it fails to prepare students for life after graduation, and how we can put it back on track. Ravitch was once a passionate advocate for the conservative policies of testing and accountability, school choice, privatization, and business-style management, all of which she here powerfully shows leave students trained to take tests but not prepared to participate in the 21st-century economy. Changes she suggests include curricula that emphasize what students need to learn over test scores, having professional educators rather than politicians, business leaders, and philanthropists run the system, and using charter schools to help students most in need instead of allowing them to siphon off the best students from public schools. VERDICT Anyone interested in education should definitely read this accessible, riveting book.—Mark Bay, Univ. of the Cumberlands Lib., Williamsburg, KY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781458756428
Publisher:
ReadHowYouWant, LLC
Publication date:
05/12/2010
Pages:
540
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.09(d)

Meet the Author

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 1991 to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. President Clinton appointed her to the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees federal testing. She is the author or editor of over twenty books, including The Language Police and Left Back, and her articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. A native of Houston, Ravitch graduated from the Houston public schools, Wellesley College, and Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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