Diane Ravitch’s new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, has tongues wagging from one end of the edusphere to the other. The New York Times’ Sam Dillon weighs in with a profile of Ravitch, which gives play to the overhyped “I was blind but now I see” angle that’s dominating reviews so far
Checker Finn files a review of the book over at Forbes.com, and he makes an important point about Ravitch’s putative reversals. When it comes to curriculum, Ravitch’s views haven’t changed a bit:
Diane and I go back a very long way–three decades, give or take–and in addition to the personal friendship we have, during that period, shared a basic diagnosis of what’s awry in U.S. education. It boils down to this: Most kids aren’t learning nearly enough of the important stuff that they ought to be learning. That was true in 1981, when we jointly launched the Educational Excellence Network, and it’s still true today. Our view of the central problem needing to be solved has, I believe, remained constant, and there is no daylight between us on that score.
Where Finn parts company with his friend is on where we go from here. “She has become more conservative,” Finn writes, “while I have become more radical.”