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Ravitch: "Public Education Is Not Broken"

The National Assessment of Education Progress, has demonstrated that levels of student achievement have been rising, incrementally but steadily, from one decade to the next, since 1970. And those scores are now at their highest point ever recorded, says Jonathan Kozol of The New York Times. Graduation rates are also at their highest level, with more young people entering college than at any time before.

Diane Ravitch was very vocal of the No Child Left Behind Act, the charter school movement and standardized testing. But Ravitch recently has changed her mind. And she's particularly opposed to privatizing schools. Her new book, Reign of Error:The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools debunks the idea of replacing public schools with for-profit institutions. She spends time countering traditional narrative about test scores, graduation rates and the achievement gap. Details on these two interviews: NPR & Washington Post.

There is also another book recently released and it is written by two prominent educators as well. Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering and Engineering in the Classroom, by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager. Andrew Walters of Hack Education compares both publications in detail and arrives to the following conclusion:
This is one of the weaknesses of the book [Ravitch], I think, something that gives it a structure that makes Reign of Error read like a long list of political talking points rather than historical narrative. I’ll admit I’m biased here when I say “skip the solutions!” as I’m working on a book that raises far more questions than it gives answers for. But I see great value in penning a detailed critique about “what’s happening” or “what’s wrong” without having to provide prescriptions for “what’ll fix it.” Unlike Invent to Learn, which as a guide must make very practical and doable suggestions, Ravitch’s book isn’t a guide and so doesn’t really succeed in fulfilling the conventions of that genre. It doesn't really work as "history" either. It’s more stump speech than scholarship.
As to me, I think that more profesional educators are on call to write, denounce and publish not only their research but their profesional opinions on something they are the most prepared people to talk about. If you are a teacher I'll suggest to buy both educational books.

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