A Dialogue Between Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch
In the course of the last 30 years, the two of us have been at odds on any number of issues—on our judgments about progressive education, on the relative importance of curriculum content (what students are taught) vs. habits of mind (how students come to know what they are taught), and most recently in our views of the risks involved in nationalizing aspects of education policy.
Meeting recently to prepare for a debate on the federal No Child Left Behind Act, however, we found ourselves agreeing about the mess that has been generated by local and state testing. Both of us agreed that the public needs far better information about both inputs and outcomes, without which the public is woefully uninformed and too easily manipulated. As we discussed what the next policy steps should be, Diane preferred a national response, and Deborah preferred a local one.
As we talked further, we were surprised to discover that we shared a similar reaction to many of the things that are happening in education today, especially in our nation’s urban school districts. Recent trends and events seem to be confirming our mutual fears and jeopardizing our common hopes about what schooling might accomplish for the nation’s children. We might, we agreed, be getting the worst...
This article is available to subscribers only.
To keep reading this article and more, subscribe now or start a 2-week FREE trial.
- K-12 Teachers
- The International Educator, Multiple Locations
- Princeton Public School District, Princeton, NJ
- Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago, IL
- Elementary Principal
- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove, OR
- Director of School Support
- The Achievement Network, Multiple Locations