The Death & Life of the Great American School System - Diane Ravitch

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mrs Teacher, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2012

    Who has read this? I'm in chapter 6 and it is fantastic so far!! Depressing.... But fantastic!
     
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  3. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Feb 6, 2012

    I'm reading it! I'm in chapter 9. I absolutely love it, but I agree that it's depressing. I got to hear Diane Ravitch speak in person in L.A. last month, and she was phenomenal.
     
  4. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Feb 6, 2012

    I've read it. It's a GREAT book that I recommend to everyone who shows interest in educational structure and politics. One of the things I like about Diane Ravitch is that she's not afraid to admit that she's wrong once research and results come out (regarding NCLB, for example), which is a lot more than a lot of other experts out there are willing to do. I also don't think she's right or left wing, but rather bases her claims on what has been shown to work and not work, along with what's realistic. I've grown to really respect her.

    Also, if anyone is interested, don't be afraid of the title! It sounds a little dramatic but doesn't reflect the tone of the book. Here is an excerpt of the description from Amazon:

    "A passionate plea to preserve and renew public education, The Death and Life of the Great American School System is a radical change of heart from one of America’s best-known education experts.

    Diane Ravitch—former assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum—examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch critiques today’s most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and the feckless multiplication of charter schools. She shows conclusively why the business model is not an appropriate way to improve schools. Using examples from major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego, Ravitch makes the case that public education today is in peril."
     
  5. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

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    Feb 11, 2012

    It really is a fantastic book! It puts a lot into perspective regarding how different places have tried to reform education using various models and what aspects have failed (but also why it has created the dangerous illusion of success).

    It does make me worried for the state of public education and the achievement gap... Mainly because of those who are in charge are not making the best decisions in education
     
  6. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Feb 11, 2012

    I am a new teacher and enjoy the oppportunity and the challenge. My gravest concern with the profession is that is run by the government and by default bureacrats. Not a model for success imo but I will do the best that I can regardless in the classroom.
     
  7. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Feb 11, 2012

    I will have to add it to my summer reading list.
     
  8. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Feb 11, 2012

    I just started reading this. It is blowing my mind.
     
  9. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Feb 12, 2012

    I had HIGH hopes for this book, but when I read it (a couple years ago), I can't recall being blown away or anything by it. Maybe because I had such expectations for it, but it didn't really hit me hard. Books by John Taylor Gatto were much more compelling to me.
     

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