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The Sound of Ideas

Second Guessing Education Reform

Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2010

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Second Guessing Education Reform When it comes to fixing America's schools, there's no shortage of ideas. Firing principals, opening charter schools, and mandating proficiency tests have all been tried--with mixed results. Now that Ohio won a big chunk of federal money by promising to do these things, will schools get any better? Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System joins us to talk about what works, what doesn't, and how to get the biggest bang for the education buck.


Education, Government/Politics, Other, Parenting/Child Care


Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System
Brendan Foreman, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Education, John Carroll University
Piet van Lier, Senior Researcher, Policy Matters Ohio

Additional Information

The 'Great American School System' Flunks Out, NPR
Information about Ohio's charter schools
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

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katie 9:18 AM 9/7/10

While the tests may not be ideal the tests are not graded by people “who couldn’t get a job at Target” they are graded by retired teachers and other professionals that are college educated. These are not easy jobs to get. I believe your speaker knows this and is spinning facts to make her point. What else is she spinning to her advantage??

Steve T 9:31 AM 9/7/10

Good morning,
The purpose of testing and preparation for stadardized tests is to generate revenue. This occurs at the regional and state levels in the public sector. But more importantly the private sector’s industry develops and implements these tests for benefits unconcerned with education.

Ron 9:38 AM 9/7/10

Diane Ravitch’s credibility should be questioned as a previous caller posited.  “Experts” like D R have contributed to the problems.  They use their positions to advocate a practice without the appropriate longitudinal data.  She seems to just be pushing a “republican negativity” position.

Sam 9:43 AM 9/7/10

The Strongsville High School gets rated “excellent” by the State every year for the last several years. Despite a $70M+ budget and excellent pay and benefits, the parents are disappointed with the quality of teaching especially in science, English and advanced math. No attempt is made to teach grammer at any level. Except for this issue, the quality of English teaching is quite good. The high school math and science teachers do not give the kids a deep understanding of the subject and parent-teacher meetings are a joke. Is it any wonder that the kids are turned off from these important subjects. The teacher’s union did not sign the Race to the Top application to get more funds to help the cash strapped district. Why? Don’t they care about our kids - the future of America? No wonder, we parents are frustrated.

Scott 11:23 PM 9/7/10

Great program.  Would have loved to see a K12 educator on the panel!


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