Tthe Common Core Standards released contain a notable omission: social studies. That's because the thorniest debates start when you start tinkering with that age-old question of who gets to write history.
America's public school system is in shambles, and the poorest kids are the only ones underneath the rubble. Now, it is the duty of the administration to fix America's destroyed public education system.
Something has broken apart in our society. While testing is a reasonable component of the education process, pretending that evaluation is a hard science -- that you can reduce a child's mental growth to a statistic -- is not.
Last week, President Obama defended the firing of every single teacher in a struggling high school in Rhode Island. Yes, America has found a new boogeyman to blame for our crumbling educational system.
If Duncan and Obama really expect five million more students to graduate from two-year colleges, they must for the first time in history make our schools into thoroughly intellectualized, serious places.
During the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush years the center of American politics was pushed about a hundred degrees to the Right. Obama gets elected and tries to move it about a half degree leftward and all we hear are screams of "socialism!"
Diane Ravitch's new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, is part polemic and part confessional. Ravitch, once an ardent supporter of charter schools, has done a dramatic 180-degree turn.