Mj'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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's review
Jul 26, 2011

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I found this book very upsetting. Ravitch worked in the Dept. of Education for both Bushes' and Clinton's administrations. She was a supported of No Child Left Behind. As a classroom teacher of some 20 years, I have never been a fan of NCLB. Now, that Ravitch in no longer working for the government, she has decided that NCLB was a big mistake. This is something that classroom teachers and administrators with years of experience tried to tell officials when the law was being written. No one listened. Ravitch's book describes the failure of program after program based on the importance of test scores as a measure of teachers success. She even laments the fact that her most inspiring teacher from her public high school education would not fit the NCLB description of a good teacher. If one looks at the book for its research and writing, I guess the rating should be higher, but from my perspective this is all too little, too late and does nothing to rectify the unwarranted harm done to the teaching profession by NCLB. I just can't give it more than 3 stars.
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