The Death and Life of the Great American School System Quotes

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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: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch
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The Death and Life of the Great American School System Quotes (showing 1-18 of 18)
“Can teachers successfully educate children to think for themselves if teachers are not treated as professionals who think for themselves?”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“Our schools will not improve if we continue to focus only on reading and mathematics while ignoring the other studies that are essential elements of a good education. Schools that expect nothing more of their students than mastery of basic skills will not produce graduates who are ready for college or the modern workplace.

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Our schools will not improve if we value only what tests measure. The tests we have now provide useful information about students' progress in reading and mathematics, but they cannot measure what matters most in education....What is tested may ultimately be less important that what is untested...

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Our schools will not improve if we continue to close neighborhood schools in the name of reform. Neighborhood schools are often the anchors of their communities, a steady presence that helps to cement the bond of community among neighbors.

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Our schools cannot improve if charter schools siphon away the most motivated students and their families in the poorest communities from the regular public schools.

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Our schools will not improve if we continue to drive away experienced principals and replace them with neophytes who have taken a leadership training course but have little or no experience as teachers.

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Our schools cannot be improved if we ignore the disadvantages associated with poverty that affect children's ability to learn. Children who have grown up in poverty need extra resources, including preschool and medical care.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“Testing is not a substitute for curriculum and instruction. Good education cannot be achieved by a strategy of testing children, shaming educators, and closing schools.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“Congress and state legislatures should not tell teachers how to teach, any more than they should tell surgeons how to perform operations.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“Going to school is not the same as going shopping. Parents should not be burdened with locating a suitable school for their child. They should be able to take their child to the neighborhood public school as a matter of course and expect that it has well-educated teachers and a sound educational program.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“One problem with test-based accountability, as currently defined and used, is that it removes all responsibility from students and their families for the students' academic performance. NCLB neglected to acknowledge that students share in the responsibility for their academic performance and that they are merely passive recipients of their teachers' influence.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“American Education has a long history of infatuation with fads and ill-considered ideas. The current obsession with making our schools work like a business may be the worst of them, for it threatens to destroy public education. Who will Stand up to the tycoons and politicians and tell them so?”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“What should we think of someone who never admits error, never entertains doubt but adheres unflinchingly to the same ideas all his life, regardless of new evidence? Doubt and skepticism are signs of rationality. When we are too certain of our opinions, we run the risk of ignoring any evidence that conflicts with our views. It is doubt that shows we are still thinking, still willing to reexamine hardened beliefs when confronted with new facts and new evidence.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“You can't lead your troops if your troops do not trust you.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“Accountability makes no sense when it undermines the larger goals of education.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“A historian tries to understand what happened, why it happened, what was the context, who did what, and what assumptions led them to act as they did. A historian customarily displays a certain diffidence about trying to influence events, knowing that unanticipated developments often lead to unintended consequences.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“Without knowledge and understanding, one tends to become a passive spectator rather than an active participant in the great decisions of our time.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“What matters most is for the school, the district, and the state to be able to say that more students have reached "proficiency." This sort of fraud ignores the students' interests while promoting the interests of adults who take credit for nonexistent improvements.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“There is something fundamentally antidemocratic about relinquishing control of the public education policy agenda to private foundations run by society's wealthiest people; when the wealthiest of these foundations are joined in common purpose, they represent an unusually powerful force that is beyond the reach of democratic institutions.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“The foundations demand that public schools and teachers be held accountable for performance, but they themselves are accountable to no one. If their plans fail, no sanctions are levied against them. They are bastions of unaccountability.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“If we continue on the present course, with big foundations and the federal government investing heavily in opening more charter schools, the result is predictable. Charter schools in urban centers will enroll the motivated children of the poor, while the regular public schools will become schools of last resort for those who never applied or were rejected.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“When a school is successful, it is hard to know which factor was most important or if it was a combination of factors.Even the principal and teachers may not know for sure. A reporter from the local newspaper will arrive and decide that it must be the principal or a particular program but the reporter will very likely be wrong. Success, whether defined as high test scores or graduation rates or student satisfaction, cannot be bottled and dispensed at will. This may explain why there are so few examples of low-performing schools that have been "turned around" into high -performing schools. And it may explain why schools are not very good at replicating the success of model schools, whether the models are charters or regular public schools.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
“During the 1950s and 1960s, the term “school choice” was stigmatized as a dodge invented to permit white students to escape to all-white public schools or to all-white segregation academies. For someone like me, raised in the South and opposed to racism and segregation, the word “choice,” and the phrase “freedom of choice,” became tainted.”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education