Waiting for Diane Ravitch

Absence makes the heart grow fonder…

The New York Review of Books ran this excellent, incisive, comprehensive review of “Waiting for Superman”, and I cannot recommend it enough.  The author of the review is important: Diane Ravitch is a longtime education reformer and policymaker, who was active in the Bush administration and helped write No Child Left Behind.  She was, for a longtime, a tireless cheerleader of standards, testing, vouchers, and charters, hated by unions and liberals.

And then?

And then she had the intellectual honesty to look at actual student outcomes and realize that the programs she’d spearheaded for years, driven by conservative ideology, were, at best, not achieving their aims, and at worst were downright damaging.  Now she’s a mouthpiece against many of those same policies she helped to develop, just as a) we’re finally getting enough evidence to acknowledge that many are failures and b) these policies have taken off within the cultural imagination.

It’s a tough spot to be in, but she knows the facts, deploys them easily, and doesn’t back down.  

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