Former Bush Education Official: Reform Movement A Campaign To Privatize As Many Schools As Possible

It's really interesting that so little in-depth attention is given by the corporate media to the many, many problems with privatizing our school systems. It's especially interesting that Diane Ravitch is so widely ignored, considering her former role in the Bush Administration and subsequent recanting of those policies:

Education historian Diane Ravitch blasted the education-reform movement as a "well-funded, well-coordinated campaign to privatize as many schools as possible" during a sold-out speech in Seattle on Thursday night.

During an hourlong appearance, Ravitch criticized teacher-evaluation systems as "crazy," called the No Child Left Behind Act "the death star of American education" and argued charter schools "divide communities."

"American public education is under attack," Ravitch said. "False claims are made about achievement. False claims are made about teachers. False claims are made about what's needed to improve the schools."

Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education for President George H.W. Bush and an early champion of education reform, eventually concluded the reform movement was misguided and led by corporations.

Her recent best-selling book, "The Death and Life of the Great American School System," has made her a hero of the anti-reform movement.

About 800 people came to Town Hall to hear the speech, sponsored by the Washington Education Association, the state teachers union. Many strongly supported Ravitch's positions — alternately applauding and hissing.


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