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Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools by Diane Ravitch
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“Anyone who truly cares about children must be repelled by the insistence on ranking them, rating them, and labeling them. Whatever the tests measure is not the sum and substance of any child. The tests do not measure character, spirit, heart, soul, potential. When overused and misused, when attached to high stakes, the tests stifle the very creativity and ingenuity that our society needs most. Creativity and ingenuity stubbornly resist standardization. Tests should be used sparingly to help students and teachers, not to allocate rewards and punishments and not to label children and adults by their scores.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“Public education is not broken. It is not failing or declining. The diagnosis is wrong, and the solutions of the corporate reformers are wrong. Our urban schools are in trouble because of concentrated poverty and racial segregation. But public education is not ‘broken.’ Public education is in a crisis only so far as society is and only so far as this new narrative of crisis has destabilized it.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“NAEP data show beyond question that test scores in reading and math have improved for almost every group of students over the past two decades; slowly and steadily in the case of reading, dramatically in the case of mathematics. Students know more and can do more in these two basic skills subjects now than they could twenty or forty years ago... So the next time you hear someone say that the system is "broken," that American students aren't as well educated as they used to be, that our schools are failing, tell that person the facts.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“Social scientists generally agree that students’ families (especially family income, which determines advantages and opportunity) have an even bigger impact on student performance than their school or teachers.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“If charter schools are not more successful on average than the public schools they replace, what is accomplished by demolishing public education? What is the rationale for authorizing for-profit charters or charter management organizations with high-paid executives, since their profits and high salaries are paid by taxpayers' dollars?”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“NAEP is central to any discussion of whether American students and the public schools they attend are doing well or badly. It has measured reading and math and other subjects over time. It is administered to samples of students; no one knows who will take it, no one can prepare to take it, no one takes the whole test. There are no stakes attached to NAEP; no student ever gets a test score.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“Critics may find this hard to believe, but students in American public schools today are studying and mastering far more difficult topics in science and mathematics than their peers forty or fifty years ago. People who doubt this should review the textbooks in common use then and now or look at the tests then and now.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“The reformers believe that scores will go up if it is easy to fire teachers and if unions are weakened. But is this true? No. The only test scores that can be used comparatively are those of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, because it is a no-stakes test. No one knows who will take it, no one knows what will be on the test, no student takes the full test, and the results are not reported for individuals or for schools. There is no way to prepare for NAEP, so there is no test prep. There are no rewards or punishments attached to it, so there is no reason to cheat, to teach to the test, or to game the system. So, let’s examine the issues at hand using NAEP scores as a measure. The states that consistently have the highest test scores are Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Consistently ranking at the bottom are states in the South and the District of Columbia. The highest-ranking states have strong teachers’ unions and until recently had strong tenure protections for teachers. The lowest-ranking states do not have strong teachers’ unions, and their teachers have few or no job protections. There seems to be no correlation between having a strong union and having low test scores; if anything, it appears that the states with the strongest unions have the highest test scores. The lowest-performing states have one thing in common, and that is high poverty. The District of Columbia has a strong union and high poverty; it also has intense racial isolation in its schools. It has very low test scores. Most of the cities that rank at the very bottom on NAEP have teachers’ unions, and they have two things in common: high poverty and racial isolation.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“Nations such as Finland, Canada, Japan, and South Korea spend time and resources improving the skills of their teachers, not selectively firing them in relation to student test scores.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“It defies reason to believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. would march arm in arm with Wall Street hedge fund managers and members of ALEC to lead a struggle for the privatization of public education, the crippling of unions, and the establishment of for-profit schools.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“In Hollywood films and television documentaries, the battle lines are clearly drawn. Traditional public schools are bad; their supporters are apologists for the unions. Those who advocate for charter schools, virtual schooling, and “school choice” are reformers; their supporters insist they are championing the rights of minorities. They say they are leaders of the civil rights movement of our day. It is a compelling narrative, one that gives us easy villains and ready-made solutions. It appeals to values Americans have traditionally cherished—choice, freedom, optimism, and a latent distrust of government. There is only one problem with this narrative. It is wrong.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“Comer Process, developed by Dr. James Comer of Yale University, which engages the school community in meeting the emotional, psychological, social, and academic needs of students. What”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“Schools need stability, adequate resources, well-prepared and experienced educators, community support, and a clear vision of what good education is.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“According to its Web site, Parent Revolution “invented” the idea of the “parent trigger” and persuaded the state senator Gloria Romero to include it in her education reform legislation. If 51 percent of the parents in a low-performing school sign a petition, the law says, the parents may take control of the school, its staff, and its budget, fire some or all of the staff, or turn the school over to a charter management”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“The corporate reform movement has co-opted progressive themes and language in the service of radical purposes. Advocating the privatization of public education is deeply reactionary. Disabling or eliminating teachers’ unions removes the strongest voice in each state to advocate for public education and to fight crippling budget cuts. In every state, classroom teachers are experts in education; they know what their students need, and their collective voice should be part of any public decision about school improvement. Stripping teachers of their job protections limits academic freedom. Evaluating teachers by the test scores of their students undermines professionalism and encourages teaching to the test. Claiming to be in the forefront of a civil rights movement while ignoring poverty and segregation is reactionary and duplicitous.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“Race to the Top was only marginally different from No Child Left Behind. In fact, it was worse, because it gave full-throated Democratic endorsement to the long-standing Republican agenda of testing, accountability, and choice. Race to the Top abandoned equity as the driving principle of federal aid. From the initiation of federal aid to local school districts in 1965, Democratic administrations had insisted on formula grants, which distributed federal money to schools and districts based on the proportion of students who were poor, not on a competition among states.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“By picking a few winners, the Race to the Top competition abandoned the traditional idea of equality of educational opportunity, where federal aid favored districts and schools that enrolled students with the highest needs.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“The reviewers found that the high attrition of TFA teachers presented a problem for schools and districts: “From a school-wide perspective, the high turnover of TFA teachers is costly. Recruiting and training replacements for teachers who leave involves financial costs, and the higher achievement gains associated”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“with experienced teachers and lower turnover may be lost as well.”8”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“The reformers define the purpose of education as preparation for global competitiveness, higher education, or the workforce. They view students as “human capital” or “assets.” One seldom sees any reference in their literature or public declarations to the importance of developing full persons to assume the responsibilities of citizenship.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“Educators say that every child can learn, but they understand that children learn at different rates and that some inevitably learn more than others.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“statistician William Sanders in Tennessee, who began his career advising agricultural and manufacturing industries. Sanders claimed that his statistical modeling could determine how much “value” a teacher added to her students’ testing performance.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“Thus, those who now sharply criticize the public schools speak fondly of an era when most schools were racially segregated; when public schools were not required to accept children with physical, mental, and emotional handicaps; when there were relatively few students who did not speak or read English; and when few graduated from high school and went to college.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools
“By comparing prior test scores, Sanders reasoned that the racial and socioeconomic characteristics of that student became unimportant. In effect, Sanders treated student learning as a finite quantity, with the teacher as the variable.”
Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools