Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In the News: Diane Ravitch

THE AMERICAN READER by Diane RavitchDiane Ravitch's new book The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education has just been published by Basic Books. As usual, Ms. Ravitch finds herself in the thick of current debates about education. Vouchers? Charter schools? A national curriculum? Testing? Although she's often referred to as a conservative, Ravtich always looks at the available data on education—and she draws her own well-reasoned conclusions.

In 2000, we published a book that was edited by Diane Ravitch. The American Reader: Words that Moved a Nation isn't a book about education—although it's rightly found its place in classrooms. It's a collection of speeches, songs, essays, letters, and other documents that Ms. Ravitch chose for their ability to illuminate different aspects of our national conciousness.

From The Mayflower Compact to Ronald Reagan—Ravitch includes materials from each era. Albert Shanker, former president of American Federation of Teachers said, "Far more than a marvelous collection of text and images, Ravitch's anthology is also a journey through the American democratic experience. And by showing us the contributions diverse Americans have made to articulating our common democratic ideals and to our efforts to live up to them, Ravitch has provided a sourcebook of unity for our 'teeming Nation of nations.'"

You have to be impressed by a collection that includes Bob Dylan and Dwight D. Eisenhower. You can see the Table of Contents here.

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