The Education Deform Fraud
Date Written: 2014-05-01
Publisher: Against the Current
Year Published: 2014
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20439
Book Review of "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools" By Diane Ravitch.
Reign of Error is a carefully researched and thorough but eminently readable treatise on the state of U.S. education. If education is not your area, you'll learn a great deal and come away with many useful talking points on this crucial issue. The first section of the book is factual and descriptive; the next focuses on debunking the corporate reformers' solutions; and the final section is prescriptive, explaining what Ravitch believes actually should to be done to improve our schools.
Ravitch documents the forces behind the "reform" movement including some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals. Names such as Eli Broad, Bill Gates, the Walton (Wal-Mart) Foundation and some others are likely familiar to many. She also describes the nefarious politics and actions of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the shadowy but extremely powerful coalition of anti-union, anti-teacher and anti-public school politicians, legislators and their super-wealthy benefactors.
We are all familiar with the consequences to the Iraqi people of the G.W. Bush administration's successful perpetuation of the myth (lie) of Saddam Hussein's alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction. According to Ravitch's treatise, the conservative deformers have been perpetuating an equally destructive myth: that U.S. schools are failing and that teachers and their unions are the cause.
Ravitch attacks this myth on multiple fronts. She documents that most schools are not, in fact, failing and that there has been a slow but steady rise in achievement over the last several decades nationwide.
She also documents, in great detail, how the standardized tests that the right-wing relies on for their "proof" of failing schools are severely flawed. Many of these tests are not used for the purpose they were intended, and are willfully distorted by those who seek to discredit public schools.