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The controversies surrounding the united states school system in the movie and article by ravitch

Diane Ravitch

Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. They say something like: What is the cause of the crisis?

The crisis in education today is an existential threat to the survival of public education. The threat comes from those who unfairly blame the school for social conditions, and then create a false narrative of failure. The real threat is privatization and the loss of a fundamental democratic institution. On the whole, these privatized institutions do not produce higher test scores than regular public schools, except for those that cherry-pick their students and exclude the neediest and lowest performing students.

Education in Crisis and the Threat of Privatization

The promotion of privatization by philanthropies, by the U. Department of Education, by right-wing governors and a few Democratic governors like Cuomo of New York and Malloy of Connecticutby the hedge fund industry, and by a burgeoning education equities industry poses a danger to our democracy.

In some communities, public schools verge on bankruptcy as charters drain their resources and their best students. Nationwide, charter schools have paved the way for vouchers by making "school choice" non-controversial.

Yes, education is in crisis. The profession of teaching is threatened by the financial powerhouse Teach for America, which sells the bizarre idea that amateurs are more successful than experienced teachers. TFA -- and the belief in amateurism -- has also facilitated the passage of legislation to strip teachers of basic rights to due process and of salaries tied to experience and credentials.

Education is in crisis because of the explosion of testing and the embrace by government of test scores as both the means and the end of education. The scores are treated as a measure of teacher effectiveness and school effectiveness, when they are in fact a measure of the family income of the students enrolled in the school.

The worst consequence of the romance with standardized testing is that children are ranked, sorted, and assigned a value based on scores that are not necessarily scientific or objective.

  1. If you had, we would be a very different nation today.
  2. Nationwide, charter schools have paved the way for vouchers by making "school choice" non-controversial. State standards can reasonably require, for example, that state history should be taught in fourth grade or that U.
  3. But I could not rescue it any more.
  4. On the whole, these privatized institutions do not produce higher test scores than regular public schools, except for those that cherry-pick their students and exclude the neediest and lowest performing students.
  5. He is no role model for our children.

Children thus become instruments, tools, objects, rather than unique human beings, each with his or her own potential. Education is in crisis because of the calculated effort to turn it into a business with a bottom line. Schools are closed and opened as though they were chain stores, not community institutions. Teachers are fired based on flawed measures.

Disruption is considered a strategy rather than misguided and inhumane policy.

Commentary Magazine

Children and educators alike are simply data points, to be manipulated by economists, statisticians, entrepreneurs, and dabblers in policy. Education has lost its way, lost its purpose, lost its definition. Where once it was about enlightening and empowering young minds with knowledge, exploring new worlds, learning about science and history, and unleashing the imagination of each child, it has become a scripted process of producing test scores that can supply data. Education is in crisis.

And we must organize to resist, to push back, to fight the mechanization of learning, and the standardization of children.