Diane Ravitch said on September 16, 2013, "Consumers look out only for themselves; citizens look out for the good of the whole."
Ravitch was referring to the threat of privatization of public education, what she regards as the central hoax perpetrated upon the American public. The matter of charter schools and vouchers is not, she stressed, a civil rights issue but part of a reform agenda that detracts focus from two very real concerns, especially in urban schools: racial segregation and poverty.
Operating schools as though they were businesses misses the obvious point. They are not businesses. As Ravitch sees it, corporate reform manifests itself in a myriad of other hoaxes, such as No Child Left Behind—which has made school exponentially more complex, but not in ways that promote real learning—and Race to the Top, which she describes as "a market-based system designed to designate winners and losers."
What public education needs right now is the shared passion of citizens working for the promise of each child in every school. Pittsburgh and its surrounding neighborhoods have this passion. We know the pivotal role each neighborhood school plays in its community. Unfortunately, like many other school systems, we also know debilitating budget cuts, teacher lay-offs, and the stress of high-stakes testing.
Mark Rauterkus Mark.Rauterkus@gmail.com
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
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