PLEDGE NOW
Diane Ravitch And The ‘Error’ Of American School Reform

Education icon Diane Ravitch championed education reform from vouchers to charter schools.  Now she champions against all that.  Calls it a mistake.  We’ll ask why.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan walks with Winston Brooks, Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent, during a tour of Emerson Elementary in Albuquerque, N.M., on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP)

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan walks with Winston Brooks, Albuquerque Public Schools superintendent, during a tour of Emerson Elementary in Albuquerque, N.M., on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP)

For years, Diane Ravitch was a big voice in hard-nosed school reform.  Working under President George H. W. Bush and after, she wanted teacher accountability.  She wanted school choice.  She wanted charter schools.  In the years that followed, we got No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, the Common Core — and lots of charter schools.  But Diane Ravitch has jumped ship.  Reform has become an attack on public education itself, she now argues.  A Trojan horse for privatization.  And the real problem is poverty.  Up next On Point:  we’re testing Diane Ravitch on testing, public schools, and more.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Diane Ravitch, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education in the administration of George H. W. Bush, author of “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools” and “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education,” historian of education and an educational policy analyst at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. (@DianeRavitch)

Jessica Levin, education policy advisor in the Department of Education under Bill Clinton, independent education consultant and former Chief Knowledge Officer for the New Teacher Project.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Loud Voice Fighting Tide of New Trend in Education —  “Ms. Ravitch, 75, is in the full flower of yet another stage in her career: folk hero to the left and passionate scourge of pro-business reformers. She has come to doubt the whole project of school reform, saying it will solve little without addressing poverty and segregation. ‘We know what works,’ she writes. ‘What works are the opportunities that advantaged families provide for their children.'”

Detroit Free Press: Longer Michigan Waits on Common Core, Farther Behind We Get —  “The rigorous Core standards, developed by the National Governor’s Association and adopted by Michigan in 2010, were en route to implementation in 2014. Then state Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, led a successful charge to strip funding for the standards from the state’s budget. (McMillin can’t stop obsessing about local control — a piece of choice hypocrisy when one considers that McMillin also wants to pass state legislation that would bar cities from adopting human rights ordinances. So much for local control?)”
The Atlantic: Did This Little Election Strike a Big Blow to Education Reform? — “The Bridgeport primaries were the latest front in the ongoing political war over American education. It’s a fight that has become intensely polarized, with reformers like Vallas and Michelle Rhee vilified by progressives and unions who see them as working to privatize public schools and undermine teacher unions. Vallas’s opponents say he has a record of closing schools, laying off teachers, privatizing school management, raiding pension funds, and funneling taxpayer dollars to for-profit education companies with dubious track records. Vallas says that in Bridgeport, he has not closed a single school, opened a single charter, or laid off a single teacher.”

Excerpt: “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools” by Diane Ravitch

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 6, 2016
President Barack Obama drinks water as he finishes speaking at Flint Northwestern High School in Flint, Mich., Wednesday, May 4, 2016, about the ongoing water crisis.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

It’s Trump for the GOP. Clinton leads. Sanders hangs in. A Navy Seal killed by ISIS. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

May 6, 2016
Close-up of a Grauer's gorilla. Kahuzi-Biega National Park, one of the last remaining strongholds of the 
Grauer
’
s gorilla, the 
world
’
s largest gorilla subspecies. 
CREDIT: A.J.Plumptre/WCS.

Great gorillas being wiped out by war and poaching. We’ll go to the mountains of Africa. Plus, after the Ivory burn in Kenya- we look at the state of the world’s elephants.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 5, 2016
Rob Reiner with his son, Nick. [Courtesy: Paladin]

Filmmaker, actor Rob Reiner and his son, Nick, get personal in their new film “Being Charlie,” which takes on drug addiction.

 
May 5, 2016
Detroit teachers march outside the district headquarters, Monday, May 2, 2016, in Detroit. Detroit Public Schools transition manager Steven Rhodes says 45,628 of approximately 46,000 students were forced to miss classes Monday as 1,562 teachers called in sick. The mass sick-out has forced the district to close 94 of its 97 schools. Detroit's schools are expected to be out of cash starting July 1. The state earlier gave the district $48.7 million in emergency funding to keep it open through June 30 as the Legislature considers a $720 million restructuring plan. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Fixing Michigan- from Flint’s water crisis to failing schools in Detroit. Are state takeovers the answers or the problem?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment