Chatting with Diane Ravitch after her talk in Kane Hall, at the University of Washington. She assured me that grassroots campaigns can be won!
Some words of wisdom from Dr. Ravitch:
“If you close a school, usually it destroys the community as well.”
“The most important causes of low achievement are poverty and segregation.”
“Tests should be used diagnostically.”
“Most tests should be made by teachers.”
“Standardized tests are a very accurate measure of a parent’s income and education. They do not measure the capacity to learn.”
“We have overdosed on testing.”
“Principals should themselves be master teachers.”
“Superintendents should be experienced educators.”
(To the teachers of Garfield High School who spoke up against the flawed MAP test.) “They brought so much heart and hope to the nation. Thank you for your courage.”
She concluded her talk by reading the final paragraphs from her new bestselling book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools:
“Genuine school reform must be built on hope, not fear; on encouragement, not threats; on inspiration, not compulsion; on trust, not carrots and sticks; on belief in the dignity of the human person, not a slavish devotion to data; on support and mutual respect, not a regime of punishment and blame. To be lasting, school reform must rely on collaboration and teamwork among students, parents, teachers, principals, administrators, and local communities.
“Despite its faults, the American system of democratically controlled schools has been the mainstay of our communities and the foundation of our nation’s success. We must work together to improve our public schools. We must extend the promise of equal educational opportunity to all the chidlren of our nation. Protecting our public schools against privatization and saving them for future generations of American children is the civil rights issue of our time.”
“We must treasure public education. We must make it stronger and better. It belongs to all of us.” — Diane Ravitch