Thursday, May 13, 2010

Taking back school reform

Ravitch & Rose via email

Mike Rose and Diane Ravitch connected in L.A. during her book tour and continued their discussion of school reform issues via email.

Rose: I think a good place to start is with NCLB. That law was driven by a masterful rhetoric that casted dissent from its agenda as “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” There can be “no excuses” for the low performance of poor, immigrant, and racial and ethnic minority kids, as measured by the tests NCLB supported. Currently, some other school reform advocates, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, have taken up this point of view: Poverty doesn’t matter. 

Ravitch:  The press barons, the mighty foundations, and most think tanks today share a common narrative. They want privatization, the more the better; they have contempt for ordinary teachers, whom they hold responsible for low test scores; and they applaud any superintendent who promises to fire principals, fire teachers, and privatize more public schools. I don’t know who will frame the counter-narrative, and I don’t know who will lead the opposition to these destructive trends
 Read the entire Teacher Magazine dialogue here.

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