<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California.
Hosted by

Do standardized tests undermine our education system?

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Listen to story

Download this story 8.0MB

How do you measure a teacher’s ability to teach?

The answer to this simple question is not so simple, according to author, education policy analyst, and research professor Diane Ravitch. Many school districts evaluate their teachers based on the standardized test results of students, but many teacher unions along with experts like Ravitch are vocal critics of high-stakes testing and the punitive use of standardized test scores to fire educators. In her latest best-selling book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Undermine Education,” Ravitch examines testing and other controversial issues surrounding education, such as the impact of private funding on public policy and the day-to-day struggles faced in classrooms.


How important are standardized test scores? How should Americans gauge the success or failure of the current education system? Is Ravitch’s vocal criticism of the status quo constructive or destructive?


Diane Ravitch, research professor at New York University and education policy analyst