Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Diane Ravitch's Book Exposes The Education Reform Agenda As A Hoax.
Ms. Ravitch points out how the education reform movement ignore the many issues associated with poor student academic achievement and blame the poor performance on school educators, especially the teachers. She writes in her book how the education reform movement ignores the most important predictor in a child's academic achievement and that is poverty. Almost all studies show that a child's social-economic environment is the major factor (80%) affecting the student's academic achievement, yet the education reformer will claim that "poverty is no excuse", as if it's the school's fault. Ms Ravitch exposes the education reform "no excuses" as a fraud. She shows how children in poverty lack many of the basics that allow for academic achievement. Dysfunctional family life, unsafe community, and negative peer group pressure are ignored by the education reformers as if they don't matter. Moreover, Ms. Ravitch shows how the lack of resources, large class sizes, and high teacher turnover are a major factor in a student's academic achievement yet the education reform movement never mention these issues. Instead the claim a "quality teacher" is the only thing necessary for a child's academic achievement.
Her book points out that in struggling schools in deep poverty have frequent turnover of teachers and many of them leave the classroom before they even get tenure. As she points out, these schools need experienced teachers and a stable school environment. Instead the education reformers see no problem with high teacher turnover and the "Teach For America" two year wonders and still expect the students to excel academically.What a fantasy.
Finally, she shows how most charter schools do no better than the public schools and how these schools are segregated and take resources from the public school system. She also states how these charter schools discourage the most needy of students from applying and staying in the school. She points out how "high needs students" like special education, English language learners, and behaviorally challenged students are discouraged from attending the charter schools and will not provide services for them. Instead they are counseled out of the school by the lack of services, a more stringent discipline policy, and the threat to not promote the student to the next grade.
Reading "The Reigin Of Error" exposes the education reform movement as a hoax and is a "reformer policy first, children last" policy.