Natali's Reviews > The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education

The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch
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May 29, 11

Read in May, 2011

I read this book because I am just starting to explore educational institutions for my son. It scared the death out of me. Now I feel like putting him in any American institution will be a mistake. I'm so discouraged about the state of our nation's school system.

That said, I am glad I read this book. I feel more equipped to evaluate schools, teachers, and curriculum. I also know how important it is for parents to make sure their children are healthy, rested, and motivated.

I also learned a new word: philanthrocapitalism. It refers to billionaires who invest money into the educational system hoping to apply market principles to education. That doesn't work. Education is not a market economy any more than fire or police departments are. It is ludicrous that we get on board with rhetoric from politicians who think they know how to fix education with "choice" and "accountability." I wish education were left to educators and not to politicians. Damn.
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message 1: by Teresa (new) - added it

Teresa I respect Ravitch's views. As an educator I also bemoan the state of our nation's system, although I'm very proud of my own district (Irvine Unified). If I had a magic wand, I'd first erase poverty, then refine the system so that good teachers can be rewarded and protected and bad ones helped to improve. It's expensive to train then lose teachers.


Natali Thank you Teresa. I appreciate the insider's opinion. I wonder, are there any other books you'd recommend for parents looking to manage their children's education?


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