Diane Ravitch believes education reform should focus on getting children out of poverty, not finding the bad teachers. (08:11)

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Diane Ravitch
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Thursday March 3, 2011

Category: Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

5 Responses to “TDS: Diane Ravitch on Teaching”

  1. keithpiccirillo says:

    Bottom 10% end up disproportionately in our penal system, and voucher systems would be an inferior alloy that does not address how to prevent the weakest link from snapping links in the American population chain. Sometimes we tackle periphery issues because the hardest core problems seem politically unachievable. Teaching kids how to take tests has become a near obsession for school systems who fear loss of funding.
    My spouse was voted teacher of the year last year out of almost 1800 teachers, a late entry after twenty plus years in the private sector.
    Motivating kids is easy for her, getting parents on board is a lot tougher but she has learned methods to bring them into the fold as well.

  2. ByteMe says:

    She right, except…

    Except you’ll also find many situations where teachers that graduated from Teach For America who have the tools to handle students coming from bad situations end up with better results than your standard run-of-the-mill teacher.

    So maybe fixing poverty is the way to go… but since we’ve been trying to address that issue for 40 years with limited results — and in many ways we’re going backward on that issue — maybe having better teachers in those classrooms is the right idea.

    But she’s right that the testing craze isn’t a panacea for pretty much anything other than the testing industry.

  3. LCharlton says:

    I can’t view the video because I live in the United Kingdom. But I want to leave a rave review for the introductory, helpful, how-to-comment guide. I’ve lived outside of the US for the better part of 15 years and I have watched with alarm as public discourse (particularly of the political sort) has fallen off a cliff. Thank you for pointing it out with some humor. Now, can someone please get Jon to open up his content to his loyal American expat audience?

  4. JasRas says:

    In Indiana they are trying to pass a voucher system. It’s designed not to benefit everyone, but only those still in the public schools. The thing is, those who are active in their child’s educational process have already pursued other choices, be it magnet schools, charter schools, private schools, homeschooling, or simply moving. Those that are left in urban school systems (and not in the magnet portion), have taken little interest in whether their child succeeds or fails in school. In fact, as a glimpse of the socio-economic population that is left in an urban school system like Indianapolis: the school system tends to be the last to have delays or snow days in the metro area–not because education is the priority, but because such a high percentage of the school population relies on the school to feed their children two meals. If the kids didn’t go, it is likely there would be no meals for the day. Now, tell me that child is ready and prepared to learn. That child isn’t even having the first level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs met! How are they going to focus on math, writing, or anything else for that matter.

    It is a shame that teachers are being scapegoated. It is a shame that certain politicians and organizations are using this issue for less than pure motives. It is a shame that the teacher’s union is so far back on their heels they can’t get it together to reframe the issue. Because, unfortunately, the politicians have quite successfully framed the teachers and unions as interested only in themselves.

    The reality is some truly radical action needs to be taken with the remaining population in these urban school systems. I don’t know what exactly, and I’m not going to shoot from the hip and sound like a nut job. But under current parameters, there are no good outcomes. Vouchers are an empty solution that will have minimal impact, because those who would use them, don’t meet the criteria for using them, and those left haven’t taken the effort to do any of the other options so far, so vouchers will fall on deaf ears… It is a nice campaign issue and that is it.

  5. dwrthzz says:

    i live near a public school in los angeles based on the arts where 320 kids have no homework all ages – grades 6 – 12 – are taught together in an open classro0m style with a liberal arts curriculum – the kids do math,science, history, play instruments, dance, read challenging literature – ive been to performances at disney hall , occidental college , colbern school for music and have been blown away – these kids are chosen by lottery – they work hard after school at school to prepare for these events and to practice – they have some of the highest test scores in the nation – graduation rate is 100% – many studends end up in some of the best colleges and universties in the nation –

    how a school is structured from the building to the support staff to academics is critical – it all works synergystically – it can bring out the excellence in teachers – it can also bring a good teacher down over time – i believe in PUBLIC SCHOOL – vouchers are a pathetic solution – corporate involvement other than anonymous hands off funding is just wrong – what if they named buildings after teachers – use teachers for what they were hired for – finlands teacher actually make up the tests – brillant! – and logical – and bring the arts back into the school system in a way that matters – the arts are just as important as any other subject – and of course bottomline kids cant be hungry and unhealthy and achieve anything – those pre school starter programs have helped in that regard –

    gotta go vote for the ‘best’ guy in this messy election -