Diane Ravitch

  • Aired:  10/30/13
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"Reign of Error" author Diane Ravitch challenges the notion that education can be broken down into a series of data points. (5:57)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK, MYGUEST TONIGHT RESEARCH

PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION ATNYU ALSO AN AUTHOR, HER

LATEST BOOK IS CALLEDREIGN OF ERROR THE HOAX OF

THE PRIVATIZATION AND DANGERTO AMERICA'S PUBLIC SCHOOL,

PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO THEPROGRAM, DIANE RAVITCH.

>> HELLO.

>> THANK YOU.

>> HOW ARE YOU?

>> GREAT, THANK YOU.

WONDERFUL.

>> NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

>> WONDERFUL, WAS LAUGHINGMY HEAD OFF AT THE EARLIER

SEGMENT, LOVED IT.

>> REALLY QUITE AMUSING, WEARE.

WE WORK ON THAT FOR AT LEASTAN HOUR AND A HALF A DAY.

>> REIGN OF ERROR THE HOAXOF THE PRIVATIZATION

MOVEMENT AND DANGER TOAMERICA'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

FOR ME THE MOST SURPRISINGTHING IN THE BOOK IS YOU

SPEND A GREAT DEAL OF TIME,ONE OF THE ASSUMPTIONS THAT

WE MAKE IN THIS COUNTRY ISTHAT THE PUBLIC EDUCATION

SYSTEM IS BROKEN.

YOU MAKE THE CASE HERE THATIS NOT CORRECT.

>> ACTUALLY, NO, IT'S NOTTRUE AT ALL.

WHAT I DID WAS TO LOOK ATALL THE DATA AND I FOUND OUT

THAT THE TEST SCORES TODAYARE THE HIGHEST EVER IN

HISTORY.

GRADUATION RATES HIGHESTEVER IN HISTORY.

DROPOUT RATES LOWEST EVER INHISTORY AND I CAME TO THE

CONCLUSION THAT KIDS TODAYARE, IN FACT, THE SMARTEST

GENERATION YET.

>> Jon: -- (APPLAUSE)

>> Jon: WHAT IT SEEMS TOSPEAK TO THOUGH, IS THAT

LIKE WEALTH INEQUALITY THEREIS AN EDUCATION INEQUALITY.

BECAUSE THAT IS ANAMORTIZATION, I WOULD

IMAGINE.

WE HAVE THE HIGHEST TESTTEST SCORES AND GRADUATION

RATE YET IT'S CLEAR THATTHERE ARE CERTAIN AREAS.

>> OH, YEAH.

>> Jon: THAT ARE REALLYSTRUGGLING.

>> THERE ARE-- I MEAN THESINGLE BIGGEST SOURCE

OF LOW ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT ISPOVERTY,

AND WE HAVE THE HIGHEST RATEOF CHILD POVERTY AMONGST ALL

THE ADVANCED NATIONS OF THEWORLD.

THERE WAS A REPORT-- .

>> Jon: SO WE'RE NUMBER ONE.

>> WE ARE NUMBER ONE, NUMBERONE IN CHILD POVERTY.

AND WE NOW HAVE ABOUT HALFOF OUR STATES WHERE HALF THE

KIDS ARE LIVING IN POVERTY,FOR A RICH COUNTRY THIS IS

RIDICULOUS.

>> Jon: ALSO PEOPLE HAVE ANIMPRESSION THAT THIS IS AN

INNER CITY ISSUE.

AND IT IS NOT.

AND THERE ARE A LOT OF AREAS,PEOPLE VIEW IT AS MIDDLE

CLASS OR BLUE COLLAR, THOSEAREAS WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE,

THEY HAVE FOOD INSECURITY,THEY HAVE DIFFICULTIES AS

WELL.

THIS IS A VERY WIDE SPREADISSUE WHEN IT COMES TO

EDUCATION, YES?

>> WELL, IT'S ACTUALLYFOCUSED ON WHEREVER THERE IS

POVERTY THERE ARE LOW TESTSCORES

LOW ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE.

KIDS ARE SICK, KIDS DON'TMAKE IT TO SCHOOL AS OFTEN.

THEIR ATTENTION ISDISTRACTED BECAUSE OF ALL

THE HUGE PROBLEMS, EMOTIONALAND SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC OF

THEIR LIVES.

>> UH-HUH.

>> AND YET THESE PEOPLEWHO CALL THEMSELVES

REFORMERS SAY DON'T PAYATTENTION TO THAT.

THAT'S THE ELEPHANT IN THEROOM.

THAT IS WHAT WE MUST PAYATTENTION TO.

I MEAN IF YOU REALLY CAREABOUT IMPROVING EDUCATION IN

AMERICA, WE WOULD HAVESMALLER CLASS SIZES.

PARTICULARLY FOR KIDS WHOARE POOR.

(APPLAUSE)>> Jon: .

>> WE WOULD MAKE SURE THATEVERY SCHOOL IN AMERICA HAD

EVERY DAY A NURSE OR HEALTHCLINIC THAT KID COULD GO TO

WHEN THEY WERE SICK.

WE WOULD MAKE SURE THATEVERY SCHOOL HAD THE ARTS,

THAT EVERY SCHOOL HADPHYSICAL EDUCATION, THAT

CHILDREN WHO GO TO-- .

>> Jon: THESE AREAS, SO THEFAMILIES IN THESE AREAS,

BECAUSE THIS GETS INTOANOTHER ISSUE THAT YOU BRING

UP IN THE BOOK.

THE FAMILIES IN THIS AREAARE RIGHTLY CONCERNED,

THOUGH, WITH THE PERFORMANCEOF SOME OF THE PUBLIC

SCHOOLS IN THEIR AREAS.

THESE SCHOOLS CAN BEDILAPIDATED, POORLY

PERFORMING AND THESE TYPESOF THINGS.

THERE IS THIS MOVEMENT ANDTHE CHARTER MOVEMENT THAT

SAYS WHAT'S WRONG WITHGIVING CHOICE TO THOSE KIDS

IN THOSE AREAS, BECAUSE THESCHOOLS AROUND THEM ARE NOT

SERVING THEIR NEEDS, WHAT ISWRONG WITH THAT IN YOUR

MIND?

>> WELL, WHAT'S WRONG WITHIT IS THAT IT IS PART OF, I

BELIEVE, A PURPOSEFUL EFFORTTO CREATE A CONSUMER

MENTALITY AROUND EDUCATION.

PUBLIC EDUCATION IS A PUBLICRESPONSIBILITY.

WHETHER YOU SEND YOURCHILDREN TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS

OR TO RELIGIOUS SCHOOL ORYOU HOME SCHOOL THEM, THAT'S

YOUR RIGHT.

AND IF YOU HAVE NO CHILDRENAT ALL, YOU'RE STILL

OBLIGATED TO SUPPORT PUBLICEDUCATION.

WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO DOIS TO SAY THAT PUBLIC

EDUCATION IS NOT PUBLIC,IT'S A CHOICE, IT'S A

CONSUMER CHOICE.

THEY'RE TRYING TO DESTROYTHE SENSE OF CIVIC

OBLIGATION SO THE NEXTTIME-- .

>> Jon: TURN IT INTO AMARKETPLACE.

>> EXACTLY.

SO THE NEXT TIME A BOND ISSUEIS UP YOU WILL SAY WELL, I

DON'T HAVE A CHILD IN SCHOOL. I WILL NOT VOTE FOR

THE BOND ISSUE.

WE'RE GOING TO DESTROYPUBLIC EDUCATION THAT WAY.

>> Jon: DO YOU THINK, YOUKNOW, IF YOU WERE TO TALK TO

MOST PARENTS THEY WOULD SAYTHE BIGGEST BANE OF THEIR

EXISTENCE IS THIS NEW, YOUKNOW, CORE CURRICULUM THAT

IS BEING TESTED.

BUT THEY WOULD ALSO SAYTENURE IS ALSO A PROBLEM,

THE TEACHERS UNION IS TOORIGID, DO YOU ALSO ADMIT

THAT THERE CAN BE REFORM INTHAT AREA AS WELL?

THAT THAT CAN WORK TOGETHER?

>> WELL, LET ME SAY THAT I'MPROBABLY THE BIGGEST CRITIC

OF THE STATUS QUO.

I DON'T LIKE THE STATUS QUO.

THE STATUS QUO TODAY IS TEST,TEST, TEST, PRETEST, POST

TEST, DATA, KIDS ARE NOTLOOKED AT AS INDIVIDUALS,

THEY'RE LOOKED AT AS DATAPOINTS.

I THINK IT'S ALL WRONG.

I THINK THAT THE IDEA OF YOULOOK ON YOUR SCHOOL, YOU GO

SHOPPING AND PICK YOURSCHOOL THE WAY YOU PICK YOUR

SHOES OR YOUR AUTOMOBILE.

THAT IS WRONG TOO.

PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE A GOODNEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL AND

EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD.

ONE WHERE THEY ARE VERYHAPPY TO SEND THEIR KIDS

BECAUSE THEY KNOW THETEACHERS ARE TERRIFIC.

THE FUNNY THING IS IF YOULOOK AT WHOLE DATA FROM

GALLUP WHAT IT SHOWS ISPEOPLE ARE ASKED HOW IS

AMERICAN EDUCATION DOING.

THEY HAVE HEARD 30 YEARS OFAMERICAN EDUCATION IS BROKEN,

IT DOESN'T WORK, IT'SOBSOLETE.

SO THEY AMERICAN PUBLICEDUCATION NO GOOD.

HOW IS YOUR SCHOOL, YOURNEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOL.

>> WELL, MY NEIGHBORHOODSCHOOL IS TERRIFIC.

MY TEACHERS ARE GREAT. ILOVE MY TEACHERS.

>> Jon: IT LIKE CONGRESS,YOU COULD LOOK AT THAT THE SAME

WAY.

MY CONGRESSMAN IS OKAY BUTTHE INSTITUTION-- DO YOU

HAVE TIME TO STICK AROUND.

WE'LL COME BACK AND TALK ALITTLE BIT MORE, REIGN OF

ERROR ON THE BOOK SHELVESNOW, DIANE RAVITCH.

WE'LL COME BACK WITH A LITTLEMORE

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