America’s public school system is broken. That’s the narrative being fed to the public by misinformed lawmakers according to Diane Ravitch, former U.S. assistant secretary of education.
In her book “Reign of Error,” Ravitch uses data to argue that public schools in the U.S. are not failing. While there are many districts--mainly in areas of high poverty and segregation--with low test scores, overall test scores and graduation rates are higher than they’ve ever been and dropout rates are lower.
So why the narrative of failure? Ravitch says it comes in part from major foundations and hedge fund managers who advocate for the privatization of schools. “Reign of Error” documents the problems of efforts to reform and privatize the public school system and emphasizes the importance of a public school education in the U.S.
Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education at New York University; former Assistant Secretary of Education (1991-1993)