Who is Diane Ravitch?Read this bio to get an idea… She’s close by… at New York University! Here is a recent blog by Diane Ravitch published in Education Week. In it, she laments the market-based “reform” movements in Ohio & Cleveland.
How are our educational problems today different than those of the past? “American education is still embattled, still struggling to win public support and approval, and, perhaps worse, still struggling to find its own clear sense of purpose” (Ravitch, 1985, p. 98). “In reality, many present complaints are reactions to hard- won reforms of the past” (Ravitch, 1985, p. 98).
Are standardized tests fair? If people are questioning the credibility of the SAT, should changes be made? Do standardized tests really prove anything about a student?“(SAT scores) provided a senseof a pattern in the carpet thathad not previously beendiscernible” (Ravitch, 1985, p.101).“…tests were neither a cause of nor aremedy for the underlying malaisein American education”(Ravitch, 1985, p. 102).
Check out this trailer for the movie “Waiting for Superman”. Read what TIME has to say about the movie… How does it feel to know “Course requirements were eased, new courses that there are children out proliferated, academic standards there that will get a good dropped, homework diminished, and adultseducation based on a lottery generally relinquished their authority to direct number? student learning” (Ravitch,1985, p. 101) Why is it that we have fallen behind in every academic category when compared to other countries? Are we “dumbing” down our curriculum?
How Does the United States Compare? “In no other country in the world does participation in formal schooling last as long, for so many people as in the United States.” (Ravitch 1985, p.98) China Debuts at Top of International Education Rankings - ABC News If Americans spend more time in school, then why are they ranked so low? (As shown on next slide…)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (2011). 2011 Annual Letter from Bill Gates. Retrieved February 12, 2011 from http://www.gatesfoundation.org/annual-letter/2011/Pages/infographics.aspx.
Read the following quote: “The curriculum should be designed so that every student has the fullest opportunity to develop his powers, intelligence, interests, talent, and understanding” (Ravitch, 1985, p. 104). With that, do you believe that it is important that all students should be subject to a large amount of curricular requirements? Or should students have more choices in what they decide to take throughout their education? Is it okay that people are learning more and more by watching television and movies?
Read the quote….“In colleges, students demanded, and usually won, the abolitionof course requirements, the adoption of pass-fail grading, thede-emphasis of competition and testing…high schools soonsuccumbed to many of the same pressures that had changed thecolleges.” (Ravitch 1985, p. 101) If there is no competition within the schools, how can Americans readily expect to compete in the world market?
Education was expected to “Improve the economy and economic opportunities by raising the number of intelligent and skilled individuals” (Ravitch, 1985, p.99).Take a look at this clip… Race to Nowhere Theatrical Trailer Are children actually learning or has society pressured them into the idea of pass the test get into college? Do American children love to learn? Or are they essentially motivated by economic prowess?
We end with this final thought…. Has our education system really improved over the years with education reform? Relationships Between Factors Affecting Educational Reform (Dougiamas, 1998, p. 1).