As a career classroom teacher, it has been a surreal experience to live trough the transformation of my profession. Where once upon a time teachers were vaunted, valued and respected, we are now the primary culprits for society's ills such as poverty, unemployment, and crime.
In this blog, I have written about the folks who have let schools down long before education reform came along, the same folks who blame teachers for "failing schools" yet who never lifted a finger to intervene against budget cuts, layoffs, the siphoning of higher performing students and resources to charters, etc.
There is one national figure who has consistently pointed out the contradictions in the education reform movement and battled valiantly against the education reformers. That person is education historian Dr. Diane Ravitch and her latest book, Reign of Error, is a must read for anyone interested in knowing the truth about what is happening in public schools today.
It was with great anticipation that I received a copy of the book the week before its release so that I could do a review on my blog. It did not let me down and it won't let you down either if you are looking for the truth about schools in America today.
One by one, piece by piece, Dr. Ravitch deconstructs the myths surrounding education reform:
- high school graduation rates are dismal (false)
- poverty has no effect on achievement (false)
- merit pay improves achievement (false)
- value added methodology can improve teaching (false)
- education is in a crisis as demonstrated by our ranking on international tests (false)