Thursday, October 25, 2012

Diane Ravitch says 'Race to the Top is a terrible education policy'

From Diane Ravitch's Blog - October 25, 2012

Diane Ravitch speaks on Race to the Top:

"Yesterday I announced my intention to vote for President Obama, and given the choice confronting us, I will vote for President Obama.

I will vote for him despite his terrible education policy known as Race to the Top.

It is a disaster. It has all the faults of No Child Left Behind, and it is worse.

It is incentivizing the creation of more privately managed charter schools, which are more segregated than the public schools in the same district and which do not even get higher test scores. It is pushing more testing, more school closings, more destabilizing of communities, more labeling of children, more layoffs, more money spent for compliance with federal mandates.

Race to the Top is harmful to children, to teachers, to principals, and to the future of public education in America.

Education Week reporter Alyson Klein wrote an analysis of what lies ahead in a second Obama term, and it is more of the same. What is especially disgusting is that the President continues to believe that Race to the Top is a positive policy; he seems to think that it will improve public education. He has not heard anything that teachers and parents and principals across the nation have been shouting. Stop the high-stakes testing! Stop the evaluation of teachers by test scores! Stop the privatization!

Federal policy is supposed to be devoted to equity, to helping the neediest children, not to a race. What is the point of a “race” in education? Are we racing to get the highest test scores? How does that promote equality of educational opportunity?

What is even more disgusting is that your representatives in Congress are voting the funds to continue the advance of these toxic policies. Raise your voices. Let your Senator and member of Congress know that Race to the Top is racing for the edge of a cliff. Stop. Stop now."

Diane Ravitch - TASB Speaker - Austin, Texas - September 30, 2012