The Death and Life of the Great American School System
By Diane Ravitch
Basic Books; 283 pages
It's always fascinating to see someone renounce previously held beliefs. Such unabashed 180s are a rare sight both in politics--where an opinion once stated is by necessity an opinion forever defended--and in academia, which is only slightly less afflicted by the cult of the certain. Diane Ravitch, a prominent education historian and former Assistant Secretary of Education, stands at the intersection of the two spheres. Once a proponent of charter schools, standardized testing and merit pay, Ravitch now uses Death and Life to proclaim...