Schools will never fix inequality: Diane Ravitch vs. Arne Duncan fight misses point on poverty
By John Marsh, author of the forthcoming Class Dismissed: Why We Cannot Teach or Learn Our Way Out of Inequality
Sunday, June 19th 2011
It is not every day that the U.S. secretary of education charges a professor with “insulting all of the hardworking teachers, principals and students all across the country.” But in the cutthroat world of education reform, the daggers have come out.
The professor, Diane Ravitch of NYU – who once shared educational reformers’ love for school choice, charter schools and accountability – has in recent years come to oppose them. A few weeks ago, she published a much-debated op-ed in The New York Times that reiterated her belief that few schools, reformed or not, can overcome the differences in family income that determine educational outcomes. “Families,” she wrote, “are children’s most important educators.”
The critics pounced. The columnist Jonathan Alter called her views “the mother of all cop outs.” The aforementioned Arne Duncan – President Obama’s education chief – said she was “in denial.” …
Read the entire op-ed in the New York Daily News