Education analyst and professor Diane Ravitch is a harsh critic of many recent trends in education, from high-stakes testing to privately run charter schools.
Ravitch supported many of those efforts when she was assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush.
But she later concluded they didn’t work. And she has been especially critical of both the 2002 federal No Child Left Behind Act, championed by President George W. Bush, and President Obama’s 2009 Race to the Top grant program.
Ravitch offered some of her insights in a speech Oct. 15, 2013, at the University of Rhode Island.
Part of her argument is that champions of such so-called reforms are overstating the problem. She said a decades-look back at standardized test scores shows more student improvement than the nation’s public schools get credit for.
“Test scores had gone up steadily for 40 years until No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top,” she said.
We wondered whether scores had increased so steadily and whether, as her statement implies, they leveled off or dropped after the two federal programs took hold.