Diane Ravitch’s ideas on school policy are worth listening to

Jan 13, 2014 by

dianeJay Mathews – I’m a fan of school policy pundit Diane Ravitch. On the jacket of her latest book, “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools,” I say she is “our best living historian of education.” Her passion and intellect are a great national resource.

Yet we often disagree. I think the growth of charter schools is the best thing that has happened to American education in the past 20 years. Ravitch would shudder at that. She was once, like me, a strong supporter of charters and assessing schools with standardized tests. But she changed her mind.

We Americans have mixed views of apostates. We tend to like Ronald Reagan, but not Benedict Arnold. Ravitch’s switch is a plus, I think, because she appreciates the desire for change shared by her old friends on the other side of the argument. In “Reign of Error,” instead of just tearing into current reform leaders, she offers positive suggestions for making schools better.

Her proposals read like New Year’s resolutions, perfect for this time of year. We need some fresh thinking. Ravitch seems to me as smart and creative as she was when I agreed with her on almost everything, even if her arguments sometimes lose touch with the facts. Here are what she calls her solutions, some not to my taste, but others rather good.

via Diane Ravitch’s ideas on school policy are worth listening to, even if you disagree – The Washington Post.

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