And How are the Children..?

Obama’s Right-Wing School Reform | The New York Review of Books

Posted on: June 11, 2010


Obama’s Right-Wing School Reform | The New York Review of Books.

I wonder what people think of this article (HT to @Thanks2Teachers via Twitter for bringing it to my attention).  Please share your thoughts:

I have been disappointed with what feels like a pretty conservative approach to education reform.  *To clarify, I mean conservative in the ‘slow, cautious, playing-it-safe’ way, not as a ideological label for a group of people (i.e. the political opposite of ‘liberal.’)*  Also disappointing: support for early childhood remains insufficient, continuing to follow the ‘table scraps’ model of funding.

I don’t know anything about this author, Diane Ravitch.  Her headline is sensational.  She’s marketing a book.  But she also seems to make some sound points.  I wish she had provided some examples of possible solutions among her list of complaints and criticisms.  This piques my ongoing issue with educators: a great deal of willingness to discuss problems, but little action toward solving those problems. This is not a personal criticism of Ravitch, and may not be consistent with her record – I will have to do some reading before making that determination.  Perhaps there are solutions discussed in her book.

She does note that she is seeking leadership outside of herself – political leadership.  If she finds that leadership, I wonder how she would participate.  How do any of us engage with leaders who have taken up our cause?  How can educators really be the change we want to see in the world?

Thoughts?  Discuss!

Obama’s Right-Wing School Reform | The New York Review of Books.

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4 Responses to "Obama’s Right-Wing School Reform | The New York Review of Books"

I wonder when was the last time that our public schools (in all their forms) really did work? Is there a golden age we can look too? And if there isn’t, what does that say about schools and our society in general?

Thanks for keeping me thinking!

I think you’re right, Megan. We cannot pretend that education has historically been a coherent, intentional system of education for all. Any ‘good old days’ that we might imagine would represent a reality that does not remotely reflect our current circumstances, and could therefore not be considered useful examples for what works.

As for what is says about our society… I think it says that we’ve got a long way to go before we can honestly say to children, “We are doing our best to take care of you, and ensure your success.”

Hi Atena — How’re you? Did you know Diane Ravitch is a former NCLB advocate, now critic after witnessing years of failed policy?

I highly recommend her blogs on Ed Week and Huff Po:
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-ravitch

I didn’t know that, Jill – I will have to check those links out. Thanks for the heads up!

Hope all is well!

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