Posts published on October 4, 2009

Provocative New Book On The Death and Life of School Reforms

How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
By Diane Ravitch
Basic Books
Publication Date: March 2010
Contact: Angela Hayes, 212-446-5104;

In THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM, award-winning author, public intellectual, and former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch critiques a lifetime’s worth of school reforms and reveals the simple—yet difficult—truth about how we can create actual change in public schools. Evaluating broadly popular ideas for restructuring schools, she explains why they have had no positive impact on the quality of American education. Throughout the book, Ravitch reconsiders the evolution of her own views on key issues and reveals her skepticism regarding charter schools, Teach for America, ethnocentric and religious schools, philanthropists who are trying to control school reform, and using business models for school planning. Drawing on over forty years of research and observation on education, Ravitch also offers prescriptions for improving our schools. A passionate plea to promote the survival of public education, The Death and Life of the Great American School System represents a radical change of heart from one of America’s best-known education experts. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of our schools in this country.

Federal Study Of What High Schools Can Do To Help Students Enter College

The federal Institute For Educational Sciences has a very useful and careful synthesis of how to help students enter and be successful in college. It is authored by five leading scholars who use explicit criteria for weighing the scientific evidence for various programs and practices. It is the most comprehensive research synthesis I have seen. The results are organized around 5 key themes such as : surround students with adults and peers who build and support college aspirations. Programs like Upward Bound and Talent search are evaluated based on the quality of research for each intervention.

You can down load it at