by David Safier
Diane Ravitch's new book about the state of education in the U.S., Reign of Error, was released Tuesday. Today it's Amazon's top selling public policy book and number 52 overall.
If you're not a regular Amazon user, you may not know, if you "Click to look inside," you can read the first 20-or-so pages online, no charge. Great Amazon feature. It's like sitting in a bookstore and skimming through the opening of a book before you buy — on your own computer, on own time, in the comfort of your home or favorite coffee shop.
Ravitch is the most visible figure in the progressive education movement and one of the founders of The Network for Public Education (which, by the way, featured one of my blog posts yesterday [he said proudly]). She was a reasonably progressive education scholar who went over to the conservative side — worked with Pres. Bush senior, advocated for school choice and high stakes testing — until she realized the conservative policies not only failed to improve our schools, they caused harm.
Ravitch writes in clear, non-scholarly prose about what's going on in education today. She takes the whole education "corporate reform"/privatization movement to task, not sparing Obama and other Democrats who have joined in. She breaks things down clearly and carefully. Anyone interested can read and understand it easily.