Thursday, May 13, 2010

Taking Back School Reform:
A Conversation Between Diane Ravitch and Mike Rose

Taking Back School Reform: A Conversation Between Diane Ravitch and Mike Rose
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Last month, education scholars Diane Ravitch and Mike Rose held a conversation at the University of California-Los Angeles about issues raised in Ravitch’s much-discussed new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. Afterward, they continued their conversation by e-mail, focusing on key topics that emerged in their discussion at UCLA.
Rose recently sent us an edited transcript of their e-mail exchange for publication. In an e-mail, Rose suggested that he and Ravitch were eager to present their dialogue to teachers. The transcript follows.

From: Diane Ravitch
To: Mike Rose
Subject: RE: A Beer Summit With the President
First, I would ask him to fully fund special education. That would relieve the fiscal burden that so many states and districts are now bearing and that is causing so many hundreds of thousands of teachers to be laid off. Then, I would try to explain briefly that his policies are too closely tied to the punitive approach of NCLB and urge him to take a positive approach, so as to help teachers and schools get better. Since he is a wonderful orator, I would suggest that he change the rhetoric about education; instead of speaking about punishing, firing, failing, and closing, speak instead about improving, supporting, developing, encouraging, and inspiring.
Last, I would urge him to create an advisory group—not connected to the Department of Education—whose charge would be to develop a long-term plan for the improvement of American education. What he is now doing is too closely tied to the “measure and punish” philosophy of NCLB, as well as the privatization agenda of the entrepreneurs. What he is doing will harm public education, not improve it. Perhaps with a long-term plan, he could lift our sights, and his own as well, to a more generous, positive understanding of what is needed by our schools, our students, and our educators.


Anonymous said...

Standards reform is a banker's dream and society's nightmare.

dan dempsey said...

It seems like the Billionaire Boys are always active. RttT is the latest scam.

Anonymous said...

And Gregoire made the President's short list - lets see what happens after May 15. The country club might need to rethink itself out of its current mess.