Gee, I wonder why Ratitch came to this conclusion when Obama got in office. I agree that Obama’s approach is misguided. When Bush first proposed NCLB, I was encouraged to see someone saw that schools like mine (the old one, not the current one) filled their AP classes with White kids and dumped the “Mexicans” into the remedial classes. One Black football player who transferred in was in second year Latin and went on to take a fourth year, but his senior year one counselor was working hard to get him the courses he needed b/c when he first came in they put him in low-level courses. Why? Black football player, that’s why.
But it turned out that NCLB was designed to destroy the public school system. Notice, Ravitch says, “If our goal is to destroy public education in America, this is precisely the right path.” And that was and is the goal. To turn the schools over to private companies who will be unaccountable and to allow the Christian Right to control content, as the Texas School Board is trying to do.
I just heard that the district I taught in for 20 years no longer requires the teaching of the Civil War. I’ll look into that, but the Civil War brings up slavery and looking at slavery and its follow-up, segregation, might cause children to question the doctrine that “anyone can make it and b/c of that there is no need to change anything”.
Separation of church and state has stuck in these people’s craws for a long time. They want their religion represented in the classrooms so all students will know what is expected of them. This occurs in other countries but we have been pretty much free of it.
My question to Ravitch is: why did you ever think that having schools compete and basing education on a business model were good ideas? The notion that everything should be run like a business is the mark of a rube, the sort of person we grew up with, our Uncle Harry, who used to pound the table after a few beers and offer inane solutions to the world’s problems. Business is great for making money, not for educating people or creating art or running a country.
The article is at http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-ravitch14-2010mar14,0,2024751.story