Media Center: ‘Reign of Error’ by Diane Ravitch
WHO: Diane Ravitch
WHAT: REIGN OF ERROR:
The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools
WHEN: Published by Knopf September 18, 2013
WHERE: In classrooms across America.
“A passionate plea to protect the nation’s public schools from privatization.
“A well-researched and insightful critique of current efforts at public education reform. Putting the current ‘privatization movement’ in the broader historical context of public school reform, Ravitch argues that there never was an ideal time when social inequities didn’t fall hardest on poor and minority students. Instead of focusing exclusively on fixing what is considered wrong with public schools, policy makers should enact antipoverty initiatives to reduce racial and socioeconomic inequality reflected in inadequate health care and preschool learning even before children enter school, she argues.
“Though she concedes historic and current shortcomings, Ravitch debunks myths regarding declining high-school graduation rates and challenges the validity of standardized tests results, international test scores, and teacher accountability measured by students’ test results. Ravitch tackles hot-button issues, including charter schools, and takes particular aim at Teach for America and school reform leader Michelle Rhee,
questioning the sincerity of conservative foundations backing the movement in an effort to dismantle public education. Ravitch advocates for more rigorous preschools, smaller class sizes, better teacher training, and comprehensive social services.” —Vanessa Bush, in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“A vital nonpartisan critique…Protecting our public schools against privatization and saving them for future generations of American children is the civil rights issue of our time.”
“When it comes to education, notoriously plagued by fads, it’s always difficult to determine truth. Ravitch, however, earns the benefit of the doubt by the supporting facts, figures, and graphs she brings to her argument, a lifetime of scholarship, and experience in and out of government.”
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