Save Big On Open-Box & Pre-owned: Buy "The Death and Life of the Great American School Sy...” from Amazon Warehouse Deals and save 81% off the $26.95 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all Open-Box & Pre-owned offers from Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education Hardcover – March 2, 2010
Books for teachers & leaders
New titles designed to help engage your students & develop your teaching skills.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
“Public education is a tough enterprise. It won’t be fixed overnight. But if we stick with a back to basics approach, saturated with the solid American democratic values that Ms. Ravitch advocates, we won’t be so prone to fall for the silver bullets that never seem to find their mark.”
Los Angeles Times
“The Death and Life of the Great American School System may yet inspire a lot of high-level rethinking.”
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post
“Her credibility with conservatives is exactly why it would be particularly instructive for everyone--whether you have kids in school or not--to read The Death and Life of the Great American School System.”
“For readers on all sides of the school-reform debate, this is a very important book.”
Library Journal, starred
“[A]n important and highly readable examination of the educational system, how it fails to prepare students for life after graduation, and how we can put it back on track…Anyone interested in education should definitely read this accessible, riveting book.”
Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
“Diane Ravitch is the rarest of scholars—one who reports her findings and conclusions, even when they go against conventional wisdom and even when they counter her earlier, publicly espoused positions. A ‘must’ read for all who truly care about American education.”
Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommon Professor of Education, Stanford University, and Founding Executive Director, National Commission for Teaching & America's Future
“Diane Ravitch is one of the most important public intellectuals of our time. In this powerful and deftly written book, she takes on the big issues of American education today, fearlessly articulating both the central importance of strong public education and the central elements for strengthening our schools. Anyone who cares about public education should read this book.”
E. D. Hirsch, Jr., author of Cultural Literacy, The Schools We Need, and The Making of Americans
“No citizen can afford to ignore this brave book by our premier historian of education. Diane Ravitch shines a bright, corrective light on the exaggerated claims of school reformers on both the left and the right, and offers an utterly convincing case for abandoning quick fixes in favor of nurturing the minds and hearts of our students from the earliest years with enabling knowledge and values.”
New York Times
“Ms. Ravitch…writes with enormous authority and common sense.”
“In an age when almost everybody has an opinion about schools, Ravitch’s name must be somewhere near the top of the Rolodex of every serious education journalist in this country.”
Wall Street Journal
“Ms. Ravitch [is] the country’s soberest, most history-minded education expert.”
Christian Science Monitor
“Ravitch’s hopeful vision is of a national curriculum – she’s had enough of fly-by-night methods and unchallenging requirements. She’s impatient with education that is not personally transformative. She believes there is experience and knowledge of art, literature, history, science, and math that every public school graduate should have.”
“The book intelligently and readably addresses today’s education controversies, using a combination of anecdotes, case studies, and statistics…[I]t’s a must-read for education policymakers at all levels of government.”
“Ravitch’s critique is an essential one – passionate, well considered and completely logical.”
“Ravitch is our best living historian of education. In my view she is the best ever.”
“The book that follows is, if not a mea culpa, perhaps something more valuable – a fiercely argued manifesto against fads in education reform and for public schools, and the teachers and students who inhabit them.”
“Diane Ravitch’s important new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, will surely stir controversy, exactly as she intends. For it embodies and expresses—with her characteristic confidence, style and verve—a fundamental change in her views about where U.S. K-12 education should be heading.”
Top Customer Reviews
Much of the publicity and controversy over the book has to do with changes in public policy positions Dr. Ravitch has taken recently - away from choice and testing. And while she has evolved in her thinking, to my mind she has been remarkably consistent. As she always has, Dr. Ravitch believes in high standards, a rigorous curriculum, treating teachers with respect and never straying from the truth - which is why she has become critical of testing programs that have fostered a culture of lies and exaggeration. And she backs up her positions - old and new - with convincing data and perceptive analysis.
"The Death and Life of the Great American School System" is a passionate defense of our nation's public schools, a national treasure that Dr. Ravitch believes is "intimately connected to our concepts of citizenship and democracy and to the promise of American life." She issues a warning against handing over educational policy decisions to private interests, and criticizes misguided government policies that have done more harm than good.Read more ›
In chapter 1, Ravitch writes, "School reformers sometimes resemble the characters in Dr. Seuss's Solla Sollew, who are always searching for that mythical land `where they never have troubles, at least very few.' Or like Dumbo, they are convinced they could fly if only they had a magic feather. In my writings, I have consistently warned that, in education, there are no shortcuts, no utopias, and no silver bullets. For certain, there are no magic feathers that enable elephants to fly."
Through fascinating analyses, narratives, interviews, and descriptions, Ravitch shows how our education reformers miss the mark again and again. But the book is far from despondent. There is much we can do, Ravitch argues, if we honor the substance of education and give our schools the support they need. This book should long outlast the reforms criticized in its pages. Its prose and principles stand strong against the times.
Given this current state of affairs, Diane Ravitch opens her latest book, THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM with a defense (bordering on apology) of her evolved thinking on the subject of public education in America. An education historian of national repute with a deep background in the Bush/Clinton/Bush era of school reform, Ms. Ravitch freely confesses that many of the reforms she had enthusiastically espoused and supported in the 1980s and 1990s -- "testing, accountability, choice, and markets" -- are simply not working. Her present assessment is actually rather worse than that, as evidenced by her book's subtitle: "How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education."
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN SCHOOL SYSTEM is a simply masterful work: articulate but highly readable, addressing complex subject matter with depth and clarity, authoritative but not dryly academic. Ms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you want to know the truth about the lies put forth about American public schools, read this. Diane Ravitch knows her topic and strengthens her knowledge with facts and great... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Lanie
I consider this book a must read for all those involved in education.Published 2 months ago by David Ebbert
Pretty good condition better than I expected. It was hardcover and clean. No writing at allPublished 9 months ago by Ana
This provided incredible insight into the school reform movement. It's seeds are traced back to "A Nation At Risk" and No Child Left Behind. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Best overview of the American education system I've read.Published 11 months ago by Brenda Blackman
The author is a hack. She supported testing when it was popular then disapproved of it as it grew unpopular.Published 11 months ago by Sammy G.
This should be required reading for all U. S. citizens as our future as a nation depends on those we educate today. Dr. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Anne G