Diane Ravitch discussed her new book The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education (Basic Books, 2010) at a recent public event sponsored by the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and NYU’s Humanities Initiative.
“We are at a crucial moment in public education. Will public education survive or will we have a marketplace of privately managed schools?” Ravitch, a research professor of education in Steinhardt’s Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, asked an audience of scholars, policy-makers, and representatives from the corporate sector. Ravitch assailed the charter school movement for handpicking their students from the public school systems and then sending them back into the system if they under-perform on standardized tests.
“As long as we incentivize charters and public schools to compete for higher and higher scores, they are all going to want to shuffle off the lowest performing kids,” Ravitch said. “Who speaks for these children?”