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Diane Ravitch And Public School Revolution
Diane Ravitch And Public School Revolution

AIR DATE: March 18, 2013

Educator and author Diane Ravitch shared her thoughts on issues ranging from the privatization of education to low teacher morale. Check out highlights, or listen to the complete interview online.


“Corporate Reformers” Want Charters To Prevail

They want higher standards for public schools, because they want the public schools to fail, and they want lower standards for charter schools ... currently, we’re just pouring on the testing, pouring on the accountability to the point where teachers say they just can’t stand it anymore, all we do is test kids.

Public Schools Will Be Dumping Grounds

I think we’re going towards a re-establishment of the dual school system, and I think we’re going to see it emerging in many cities, cities like Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Chicago, DC, where the charter schools will be for students who are able and nimble and have motivated parents, and then the remaining public schools will be dumping grounds for the kids who are not able to keep up and who get kicked out of the charter schools ... When I talk about a dual school system, I’m talking about separation not by race, but separation by class. I don’t want to sound alarmist, but I think that’s where we’re heading.

Teach for America

What places like Nevada and other places are doing is they’re hiring Teach for America. And these are young kids that have very little training, they have five weeks of training, they come in, they’re idealistic, they knock themselves out and two years later they’re gone. On the whole they don’t get better results than well-prepared teachers, but what’s the end game of this? We are destroying the teaching profession.

Nevada: You Get What You Pay For

I know that Nevada, for example, I was just looking at high school graduation rates the other day – Nevada has the lowest high school graduation rates in the U.S. And from everything I’ve heard from teachers in Nevada – and I frequently get emails from teachers in Las Vegas, Clark County, and also the rest of the state – teachers’ salaries are very low, teachers are not held in high regard. The state wants to get education on the cheap, and you’re getting what you pay for, just like everything else in life.




    comments powered by Disqus
    The point here is that there is no singular thing that can make all children successful in school. They are individuals that need to find their own reason to become engaged. By providing; quality teachers, small classes, nutritional support, counseling, health services, music, arts, science, history, sports, language, etc... we cast the broadest net to capture and hold the attention of the largest number of students. The state can't regulate how parents involve them selves in their child's academic life but there can be greater outreach to families that can encourage more interest. If the seed lands on a stony place and is scorched by the sun, it is not the fault of the seed. It is the duty of a society that we all look out for those that might be missed and guide them to the fertile ground. The people of Nevada have certainly failed to meet my expectations in this regarding their denial of any change to the tax code to benefit our ailing school system. Pathetic misers desperately clutching of a few cold dead coins and denying the best of us a chance to grow and flourish to the benefit of all.
    MarshalMar 13, 2013 11:55:24 AM
    competing with test scores, I agree, is meaningless. But some forms of competition are beneficial. I went to one of three "specialized" public high schools in NYC. Our school had the most Westinghouse science winners in the nation three years in a row. That means more than any test.
    marcMar 13, 2013 10:29:56 AM
    Public schools don't work because people like your guest expect nothing of the students in those schools. She is just "another book-seller" The problem with the public school is people like your guest. They expect little of these students. Blame them for coming from poor homes with no food. I went to school without lunch, grew up in a house with no electricity, etc but I had teachres who expected me to perform without excuses. "Nobody rises to low expectation" I am a lawyer; I have two nieces with Masters from Hopkins. A niece is a medical doctor; another is a lawyer; another is a bank vp. It is expectation; not background.
    Alda AndersonMar 13, 2013 10:26:41 AM
    I agree with you. Expectations play a significant role in personal achievement. I have to wonder if your parents had high expectations for you. Do you have high expectations for your children? Parents are ultimately responsible for their child's education and success.
    Teresa DenningMar 13, 2013 10:47:41 AM
    1. How can you "blame" a child for being poor? She is certainly not doing such a preposterous thing. 2. How can a teacher enforce expectations of a child if there is no or little involvement at home? The ruler? 3. A book-seller? If she wanted to simply sell books to make money she would have written a college text book or a teen romance about a Sasquatch who falls in love with a Mummy. I think Ms. Ravitch holds the highest expectations for the capacity of children to learn and achieve. Without a proper support structure at home that encourages learning and proper investment in our system of education that high level of achievement is attainable only in anecdotal cases.
    MarshalMar 13, 2013 11:28:08 AM
    Baloney! There are poor doctors, poor engineers, poor lawyers: we don't dump on ALL doctors, engineers, etc. Poverty, laziness, etc. have MUCH to do with success. My wife & I came from economically stressed backgrounds, but our parents encouraged - EXPECTED - that we would apply ourselves in school. Re Bill Gates: just because HE was smart, rich - AND LUCKY - doesn't mean he knows anything about education, anymore than that I'm a guy means I could be a pro basketball player.
    bobMar 13, 2013 16:39:16 PM
    I think you missed the point. The guest didn't say that. So I am not sure where you understood that she "expects nothing" from the students. She said that schools that are poor and have high segregation is where you get the lower test scores. I think most people would agree with that statement. It is not a judgement but a statement of fact.
    Jessica SanchezMar 13, 2013 17:17:05 PM
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