- About MASA
- Government Relations
- Member Toolbox
- 90 Days to Success
- Administrator Certification
- Continuing Conversations
- Contract, Evaluation and Retirement Toolkit
- Courageous Journey
- Educator Evaluation Resource Center
- Executive Coaching and Mentoring
- Interim Administrator Services
- Media Library
- Newer Superintendent Services
- RDI & Mobile Device Toolbox
- Save Time and Money
- School Leadership Briefing
- Solutions Center
- Superintendent's Year
Nationally acclaimed speaker Diane Ravitch talks about Corporatization of Public Schools
MASA Board and Council members were able to join a room full of legislators, educators and business partners to hear from Dr. Diane Ravitch, historian of education, professor and public education advocate, at the Tri-County Alliance Fall Conference in Lansing, MI on October 18.
In her speech, Dr. Ravitch mapped out the most pressing issues facing public education today and revealed why current solutions only address the symptoms and the not the root problems faced by public educators, parents and students. Ravitch’s insightful commentary, fueled by 40 years of experience, research and data, focused on the for-profit privatization of public schools, the Parent Trigger bill, high-stakes student testing and merit pay tied to teacher evaluation. She also defined what the USA must do to truly effect change – and what education will look like in this country if we continue to allow corporations to turn educating our children into a “business”. “We are heading toward a dual system of education in the USA based on class lines,” Ravitch said.
“It has been proven: as poverty levels go up, test scores go down. Poverty and racial segregation is a toxic combo for kids and education, and both are on the rise across the country. ‘Reformers’ don't believe the impact this combo has on kids because the privatization movement is not about improving public schools; it's about business – which is why root problems are being ignored. Charter schools are not a systemic approach to the poverty and segregation problems facing school districts. For-profit charters are cash cows even if they don't make Adequate Yearly Progress (and over 70% don't). If they were public schools they would be closed down.”
Dr. Ravitch advocated for early childhood education, health care, small class size and the availability of arts and physical education programs as verified tools for improving student test scores and keeping kids in school. Ravitch’s belief in the strength of our public education system was obvious, and her clear, fact-based analysis of the growing ed-threats to our local communities and the required call-to-action was both chilling and inspiring.
“You are facing a critical time” Ravitch commented. “Michigan is ‘advancing’ with policies that support dismantling public education. The Parent Trigger bill tricks parents into handing schools over to for-profit corporations. Schools belong to their communities and are not entities to be given away."
Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University, a historian of education and a prolific author. She was Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, and was responsible for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. To learn more about Diane, visit her website at http://dianeravitch.com and her blog at http://dianeravitch.net.
Tri-County Alliance for Public Education serves 700,000 students in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. The organization includes the 86 superintendents in the tri-county area.