The Death and Life of the Great American School System

Julia Martin | August 6, 2010

Title: The death and life of the great American school system: how testing and choice are undermining education
Author: Diane Ravitch
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2009
Check It Out:  LA217.2 .R38 2009 c.4

From the Publisher: 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.

About the Author: Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University. She holds the Brown Chair in Education Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Quote from Book: “The fundamentals of good education are to be found in the classroom, the home, the community, and the culture, but reformers in our time continue to look for shortcuts and quick answers. Untethered to any genuine philosophy of education, our current reforms will disappoint us, as others have in the past.”

NY Times Review
LA Times Review
Christian Science Monitor
Writer Reps.com Review
Dallas News Review
NTHPosition Review
New Blaze Review
Diane Remh Show on Ravitch
Washington Monthly Review
Educationnews.org Review
Education Policy Blog Post
Q&A with Author
American Enterprise Institute AudioA
Diane Ravitch’s Website
Excerpts from Ravitch’s Book