I heard Diane Ravitch on WPR talking about public education. She is a research Professor of Education at New York University, she was an Assistant Secretary of Education from 1991-1993. I am very interested in the education of our children, so I read her most recent book book, Reign of Error , published in 2013. It is details what many nationally prominent educators got wrong in the 1990s into today. “Public education is not broken.”
She further states that the problem is: “Our urban schools are on trouble because of concentrated poverty and segregation”
What follows is a delineation of her solutions:
-Pregnant women should see a doctor early in their pregnancies and have regular care and good nutrition.
-Children need pre-kindergarten classes that teach how to socialize, listen, learn and communicate well.
-Children in early elementary grades need teachers who set appropriate goals. They should learn to read, write, calculate, explore nature, and have plenty of time to sing, dance, draw, and giggle. Class size should be small.
-A balanced curriculum for upper elementary, middle and high school should include: reading, writing, match, sciences, literature, history, geography, a rich arts program,physical education every day.
-Staff for these schools should include: librarians, media specialists, nurse, psychologist, guidance counselors, social workers.
-After school program should be available.
-Teachers should write own tests while using standardized tests only for diagnostic purposes.
“Public education is a basic public responsibility. The future of our democracy depends on it.” –Diane Ravitch