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The American Reader: Words That Moved a Nation (Second Edition)

by Diane Ravitch

The American Reader is a stirring and memorable anthology that captures the many facets of American culture and history in prose and verse. The 200 poems, speeches, songs, essays, letters, and documents were chosen both for their readability and for their significance. These are the words that have inspired, enraged, delighted, chastened, and comforted Americans in days gone by. Gathered here are the writings that illuminate -- with wit, eloquence, and sometimes sharp words -- significant aspects of national conciousness. They reflect the part that all Americans -- black and white, native born and immigrant, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American, poor and wealthy -- have played in creating the nation's character. [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 11-12 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

The Death and Life of the Great American School System

by Diane Ravitch

A passionate plea to preserve and renew public education,The Death and Life of the Great American School Systemis a radical change of heart from one of America's best-known education experts. Diane Ravitch-former assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum-examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch critiques today's most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and the feckless multiplication of charter schools. She shows conclusively why the business model is not an appropriate way to improve schools. Using examples from major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego, Ravitch makes the case that public education today is in peril. Ravitch includes clear prescriptions for improving America's schools: leave decisions about schools to educators, not politicians or businessmen devise a truly national curriculum that sets out what children in every grade should belearning expect charter schools to educate the kids who need help the most, not to compete with public schools pay teachers a fair wage for their work, not "merit pay" based on deeply flawed and unreliable test scores encourage family involvement in education from an early age The Death and Life of the Great American School Systemis more than just an analysis of the state of play of the American education system. It is a must-read for any stakeholder in the future of American schooling.

The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education

by Diane Ravitch

A passionate plea to preserve and renew public education, The Death and Life of the Great American School System is a radical change of heart from one of America's best-known education experts. Diane Ravitch--former assistant secretary of education and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum--examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. Drawing on over forty years of research and experience, Ravitch critiques today's most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and the feckless multiplication of charter schools. She shows conclusively why the business model is not an appropriate way to improve schools. Using examples from major cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego, Ravitch makes the case that public education today is in peril. Ravitch includes clear prescriptions for improving America's schools: leave decisions about schools to educators, not politicians or businessmen devise a truly national curriculum that sets out what children in every grade should be learning expect charter schools to educate the kids who need help the most, not to compete with public schools pay teachers a fair wage for their work, not "merit pay" based on deeply flawed and unreliable test scores encourage family involvement in education from an early age The Death and Life of the Great American School System is more than just an analysis of the state of play of the American education system. It is a must-read for any stakeholder in the future of American schooling.

The Language Police

by Diane Ravitch

If you're an actress or a coed just trying to do a man-size job, a yes-man who turns a deaf ear to some sob sister, an heiress aboard her yacht, or a bookworm enjoying a boy's night out, Diane Ravitch's internationally acclaimed The Language Police has bad news for you: Erase those words from your vocabulary!Textbook publishers and state education agencies have sought to root out racist, sexist, and elitist language in classroom and library materials. But according to Diane Ravitch, a leading historian of education, what began with the best of intentions has veered toward bizarre extremes. At a time when we celebrate and encourage diversity, young readers are fed bowdlerized texts, devoid of the references that give these works their meaning and vitality. With forceful arguments and sensible solutions for rescuing American education from the pressure groups that have made classrooms bland and uninspiring, The Language Police offers a powerful corrective to a cultural scandal.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Making Good Citizens: Education and Civil Society

by Diane Ravitch Joseph P. Viteritti

Leading thinkers from a variety of disciplines probe the relation between a healthy democracy and education. Contributors such as Jean Bethke Elshtain, Nathan Glazer, Robert Putnam, Jack Rakove, and Alan Wolfe discuss topics that range from the place of religion in public life to political conflict in a pluralist society to the problems of racial inequality.

Reign of Error

by Diane Ravitch

From one of the foremost authorities on education in the United States, former U.S. assistant secretary of education, "whistle-blower extraordinaire" (The Wall Street Journal), author of the best-selling The Death and Life of the Great American School System ("Important and riveting"--Library Journal), The Language Police ("Impassioned . . . Fiercely argued . . . Every bit as alarming as it is illuminating"--The New York Times), and other notable books on education history and policy--an incisive, comprehensive look at today's American school system that argues against those who claim it is broken and beyond repair; an impassioned but reasoned call to stop the privatization movement that is draining students and funding from our public schools. In Reign of Error, Diane Ravitch argues that the crisis in American education is not a crisis of academic achievement but a concerted effort to destroy public schools in this country. She makes clear that, contrary to the claims being made, public school test scores and graduation rates are the highest they've ever been, and dropout rates are at their lowest point. She argues that federal programs such as George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind and Barack Obama's Race to the Top set unreasonable targets for American students, punish schools, and result in teachers being fired if their students underperform, unfairly branding those educators as failures. She warns that major foundations, individual billionaires, and Wall Street hedge fund managers are encouraging the privatization of public education, some for idealistic reasons, others for profit. Many who work with equity funds are eyeing public education as an emerging market for investors. Reign of Error begins where The Death and Life of the Great American School System left off, providing a deeper argument against privatization and for public education, and in a chapter-by-chapter breakdown, putting forth a plan for what can be done to preserve and improve it. She makes clear what is right about U.S. education, how policy makers are failing to address the root causes of educational failure, and how we can fix it. For Ravitch, public school education is about knowledge, about learning, about developing character, and about creating citizens for our society. It's about helping to inspire independent thinkers, not just honing job skills or preparing people for college. Public school education is essential to our democracy, and its aim, since the founding of this country, has been to educate citizens who will help carry democracy into the future.From the Hardcover edition.

What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know

by Diane Ravitch

What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know? Gives the results of the first nationwide test of American high school students' knowledge of history and literature, as well as fascinating insight into what teenagers are reading, how much television they watch, what influence their home environment has on their academic achievement, and what historical topics and literary works are included in (or have been dropped from) the school curriculum.

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