Reign of Error

Reign of Error

The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools

Book - 2013 | 1st ed. --
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From one of the foremost authorities on education in the United States, former U.S. assistant secretary of education, "whistle-blower extraordinaire" ( The Wall Street Journal ), author of the best-selling The Death and Life of the Great American School System  ("Important and riveting"-- Library Journal ),  The Language Police  ("Impassioned . . . Fiercely argued . . . Every bit as alarming as it is illuminating"-- The New York Times ), and other notable books on education history and policy--an incisive, comprehensive look at today's American school system that argues against those who claim it is broken and beyond repair; an impassioned but reasoned call to stop the privatization movement that is draining students and funding from our public schools.
​In  Reign of Error , Diane Ravitch argues that the crisis in American education is not a crisis of academic achievement but a concerted effort to destroy public schools in this country. She makes clear that, contrary to the claims being made, public school test scores and graduation rates are the highest they've ever been, and dropout rates are at their lowest point.

​She argues that federal programs such as George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind and Barack Obama's Race to the Top set unreasonable targets for American students, punish schools, and result in teachers being fired if their students underperform, unfairly branding those educators as failures. She warns that major foundations, individual billionaires, and Wall Street hedge fund managers are encouraging the privatization of public education, some for idealistic reasons, others for profit. Many who work with equity funds are eyeing public education as an emerging market for investors.
​ Reign of Error  begins where The Death and Life of the Great American School System  left off, providing a deeper argument against privatization and for public education, and in a chapter-by-chapter breakdown, putting forth a plan for what can be done to preserve and improve it. She makes clear what is right about U.S. education, how policy makers are failing to address the root causes of educational failure, and how we can fix it.

​For Ravitch, public school education is about knowledge, about learning, about developing character, and about creating citizens for our society. It's about helping to inspire independent thinkers, not just honing job skills or preparing people for college. Public school education is essential to our democracy, and its aim, since the founding of this country, has been to educate citizens who will help carry democracy into the future.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780385350884
Characteristics: xii, 396 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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Jul 27, 2017

Diane Ravitch, who served in both the Bush 1 and Clinton administrations, is one of the fiercest defenders of public education and one of the sharpest critics of the challenges facing it, namely privatization, anti-union efforts, increased testing, and the influx of activist donor money (like the Gates Foundation and the Walton family). Chances are, if you're reading this, you're sympathetic to public education, one of the great features of our democracy. I'm a teacher and the son of teachers, so she's preaching to the choir here. Unfortunately, I doubt the people who consistently attack teachers and unions will read this. Maybe Betsy DeVos should pick up a copy. Liberals may be a little taken aback at her criticisms of the Obama administration, who instituted the so-called Race to the Top program. Also check out her book "The Death and LIfe of the Great American School System" and Dana Goldstein's "The Teacher Wars."

Jan 02, 2014

Required reading for legislators, school board members, and Arne Duncan. Highly recommended reading for parents, teachers, and anyone who cares about the future of our nation. This book deftly exposes the hoaxes of the so-call education "reform" movement with irrefutable statistics and research.

Dec 13, 2013

[Update 3/15: A short time ago the Gates Foundation awarded a grant to Cornell University to propagandize on behalf of GMOs. Whether commodifying education, or food, it's all about privatization!] A great book, albeit a bit too low-key for this ancient radical. Ravitch explains fundamentally how they are defunding public education, while redirecting taxpayer monies to private sector profit, the underlying foundation of everything regarding privatization today in America! Amazing that President Obama would make such a hypocritical speech at the funeral for Nelson Mandela, while just a year or so ago the president, on national television, publicly lauded the mass firing of every teacher in a Chicago high school, ostensibly because of the so-called behavior of just several teachers there! (All those teachers were later reinstated when they won a wrongful termination lawsuit!) All for the sleazy privatization - - or defunding - - of the American school system, and destruction of the few remaining unions around today, the teachers' unions. [Everytime an EB5 visa person comes here, the money spent on their visa is directed into charter schools fund.]

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