Campbell's Law and The Death and Life of the Great American School System

Diane Ravitch's book The Death and Life of the Great American School System asserts two ideas, and supports them with comprehensive detail: 1) a market system is fine if you want to create consumers, but it does not work for public schools-- as they are one of the last places where community, democracy, and local citizens can have an influence-- and 2) using testing as a measure of accountability for teachers and schools is illogical (she cites Campbell's law-- "the more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor") because it is essentially putting the cart before the horse; Ravitch speaks from a position of great perspective, she worked in the administrations of George Bush Sr., Clinton, and George W. and she is one of the most credible educational historians in America; book is something of a reflection on how she fell for some of these fads before she fully analyzed the evidence, and her change of heart is in notable opposition to President Obama's continuation of Bush's war on our education system . . . a must read if you have kids: ten charter schools out of a possible ten.

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