It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I am a huge fan of Dr. Diane Ravitch. She has been a fearless spokesperson for America's public schools, and she has been candid and outspoken in her criticism of the harmful policies embedded in No Child Left Behind which was enacted by the George Bush Administration and has been exacerbated by The Obama Administration and Arne Duncan's Department of Education. I am a proud owner of an autographed copy of her book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education, published in 2010. I got to hear Dr. Ravitch speak about her thoughts from the book's contents at a Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference in New York City, and I have become a devotee who reads her blogs daily, shares content freely, and comments often when I feel so inspired.
It will be of little surprise to anyone, then, that I eagerly await the publication of her newest book which is due to come out in September. In fact, I plan to use it as the primary text for the course that I will be teaching at the University of Richmond in the fall. The new book's title is Reign of Error: The Hoax of Privatization and the Danger to America's Public Schools. In one of her blog postings this morning, Diane revealed that the first review of the new book is out. Kirkus Reviews sends out advanced reviews of new books to journalists, librarians, and others interested in the publishing industry. The review offered of Diane's latest work may be read here. The reviewer offers that the audience that will find this book most interesting are “…policymakers, parents, and anyone concerned about the dismantling of one of our democracy's great institutions.” Diane also commented that the book review was accurate in its review and got the most salient points of her book.
I share this by way of encouraging those who read my blog and follow my Facebook commentary and Twitter accounts to watch out for the publication of this book and grab a copy at your first opportunity. Its publication date is scheduled for mid-September.
Furthermore, if you are in Virginia or within driving distance of Richmond, VA, you might want to plan to attend the Fall Instruction and Professional Development Conference being planned by the Virginia Education Association in November as Dr. Ravitch will be the keynote speaker and I am sure she will be sharing her insights from the book and will answer questions that readers might have for her by then.
I, for one, and looking forward to reading her latest work. I believe that she is a staunch supporter of public education as am I. Because of her work and the support that she continues to garner, I am more hopeful than not that people (policy makers and parents in particular and the public in general) will soon wake up to the harm that the privatization movement is causing. If we are to deal with the social justice issues that cry out for relief, we must have a fair and equitable system of public education in place. Privatization does nothing but aid in the re-segregation of our schools, and we simply cannot tolerate that as we are well into the second decade of the 21st century. We have come too far to let our society slide back to pre-1954. Teachers, parents, and policy makers who still believe that a system of public education is one that deserves our support must do what we can to get the millions of dollars which are currently being funneled into testing, teacher evaluation, and curriculum companies back to the schools to pay for professional teachers and proper resources for the students who are going to be the leaders of our next generation of thinkers.
I thank Dr. Ravitch everyday for her contributions. I applaud her for her zeal and dedication and commitment. I support her in every way I can. And I am taking this opportunity to urge you to do the same.