Diane Ravitch won the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences in 2011 for her “careful use of social science research for the public good.” (July 2012)
A Chance for Every Child: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Restoring the Promise of American Education a white paper by the Romney campaign, with a foreword by Jeb Bush
US Education Reform and National Security by Joel I. Klein, Condoleezza Rice, and others
A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All by Wendy Kopp with Steven Farr
Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? by Pasi Sahlberg, with a foreword by Andy Hargreaves
Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools by Steven Brill
As Bad as They Say? Three Decades of Teaching in the Bronx by Janet Grossbach Mayer
Waiting for “Superman” a film directed by Davis Guggenheim
For weeks, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the United Federation of Teachers have been battling over the issue of teacher evaluation, potentially costing the city schools hundreds of millions of dollars. Why does Commissioner King intend to punish the city’s children if the grown-ups don’t agree?
According to most news reports, the teachers in Chicago are striking because they are lazy and greedy. Or they are striking because of a personality clash between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and union president Karen Lewis. Or because this is the last gasp of a dying union movement. Or because Emanuel wants a longer school day, and the teachers oppose it. None of this is true.
On May 23, the Romney campaign released its education policy white paper titled “A Chance for Every Child: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Restoring the Promise of American Education.” If you liked the George W. Bush administration’s education reforms, you will love the Romney plan. If you think that turning the schools over to the private sector will solve their problems, then his plan will thrill you.
Given Arne Duncan’s enthusiasm for grading educators, it seems high time to evaluate his own performance as Secretary of Education.
New York’s education officials are obsessed with test scores. In order to secure $700 million of promised funding from Obama’s Race to the Top program, the state wants to find and fire the teachers who aren’t able to produce higher test scores year after year. But most testing experts believe that the methods for rating teachers are inaccurate, unstable, and unreliable. New York’s hurried and wrong-headed teacher evaluation plan will profoundly demoralize teachers, as they realize that they have lost their professional autonomy and will be measured according to precise behaviors and actions that have nothing to do with their own definition of good teaching.
April 7, 2011 was a day that should be remembered as one of the strangest in the history of the public schools of New York City and New York State. On that day, by coincidence (or not), the Chancellor of the New York City schools, Cathleen Black, and the State Commissioner of Education, David Steiner, both resigned.
After a stormy eight-year reign, New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein announced last week that he was stepping down to work for Rupert Murdoch. Mayor Bloomberg immediately selected another non-educator, Cathleen Black, the chairman of Hearst Magazines, to take charge of the school system.
What started out as a conventional book tour turned into something else: a whistle-stop campaign to warn against some of the education “reforms” currently in vogue.