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The End of the Great American School System - Essay Example

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The End of the Great American School System [Insert Name] [Insert Institution] Background of the Author Diane Ravitch is a renowned American educationist. Currently, she is a professor in the department of Culture Education at the University of New York. She has also worked as an assistant secretary in the department of Education for the government of the United States…
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The End of the Great American School System [Insert [Insert Background of the Diane Ravitch is a renowned American educationist. Currently, she is a professor in the department of Culture Education at the University of New York. She has also worked as an assistant secretary in the department of Education for the government of the United States. Her date of birth is recorded as being in 1938. She received her PhD in the history of education from the University of Columbia. In most of her works, she is a prominent critic of the conventional ways through which school teachers are held accountable. In addition, she was against the idea of having public schools being replaced with the trendy charter schools. Her remarkable contribution to the education system in the United States made her to be called by the then president, Clinton, to the board which oversaw the assessment of educational progress between 1997 till 2004. In the following part, the paper gives an in depth discussion into some of the problems highlighted by the author in her book and the solutions fronted too. Ravitch, in her book The Death and Life of the Great American School System, addresses some of the problems she believed faced the American education system. In as much as her views could be perceived as being conservative, the issues she raised bear relevance to the educational system. Being an educational historian, her training makes her a qualified person whose opinions can not be overlooked. For instance, she criticized the current education system which relies more on testing and giving the learners choices. In view of her the comments made by Ravitch, it is true that an ideal education system should aim at modeling the learner into an all round person through holistic education. Therefore, as she suggests, the system of education should allow for the progressive development of the student in tandem with student’s ability and talents. In addition, Ravitch also was against the trend that was witnessed at the time in that public schools were being replaced by charter schools. Ideally, public schools usually serve the interests of the wider community. The larger part of the country’s population, especially the middle class, have their children educated in public schools. This also includes children from poor backgrounds. Therefore, converting the public schools to charter schools is akin to denying a large part of the population their appropriate way of schooling. This is one of the issues that are fronted by Ravitch in the book. The American education system at the time had drawbacks which had to be looked into. For instance, she also highlights that the system of accountability where teachers are supposed to show their credibility in reference of their work is unfair. The system of accountability implies that teachers who are found in violation of the stipulations are fired. Firing teachers based on accountability, just as Ravitch says, is akin to an unethical practice whose implication is that the workforce would be demoralized. In the book, Ravitch proposes what could be used as solutions to the highlighted problems. In reference to the assertions fronted by the author, I am in agreement with the recommendations brought forward by her. For instance, the essence of education is to discourse knowledge. Therefore, the current systems which rely on testing and compelling learners to make choices while studying are inhibitive in view of advancing the core objective of education. In addition, the learning process should be made friendly and conducive to both the learner and the student. Therefore, just like Ravitch asserts in her book, firing teachers based on the aspect of accountability is not accepted. The question that I would front for discussion is that what the implication of the suggestions fronted by Ravitch on the American education system? In addition, if the recommendations fronted by the author are to be implemented, what would the impact be on the learners as well as on the welfare of the educators? In conclusion, Ravitch stands out because of her contribution to the education system. Being a historian in education, her academic qualification puts her at in a position where she had to use her qualification to serve the society right. Her assertions that the education system should have focused on the welfare of both the learner and the educator bear relevance to the current events of modern societies. The historical development of American education has been shaped by the ideals raised by proponents such as Ravitch. In view of the book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, it is conclusive to assert that the book offers such an invaluable piece which is relevant to the learning process. Reference Ravitch, D. (2010). The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. New York: Basic Books. Read More
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