Diane Ravitch on Testing, Choice, and Public Education ☆

As her home office in Brooklyn was being repainted, Diane Ravitch, one of the nation’s foremost historians of education and a leading education policy analyst, began reviewing forty years of her writings. Yellowing scrapbooks that recorded her reflections and observations on the state of American education stimulated a fresh look at currently popular strategies of school reform. Her reflections prompted the writing of her new book The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (Basic Books, March 2010).

Death and Life takes a close and critical look at No Child Left Behind, teacher evaluation by test sores, the business model, privatization, charter schools vouchers, test-based accountability, the role of big foundations, and the race to the top. None of these strategies, she believes, will improve our schools and may even harm public education.

Ravitch delivered a Book Talk at the Gottesman Libraries on March 24th, 2010.