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Book News Dissatisfaction with the quality of American public schools has led to an effort to create a national system of educational standards and assessments. This book examines the rationale for such a system, defines what standards are and the purposes they might serve, reviews evidence about student achievement, and concludes that such a system, no matter how reliable, can't solve all the problems of American education. The appendix lists national education goals adopted by Congress in March 1994. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Blackwell North Amer In this book, nationally recognized education authority Diane Ravitch explains the origins of the movement to establish national standards and assessments; examines its rationale; defines what standards are and the purposes they might serve in education; explores the history of standards and assessments in American education; reviews evidence about student achievement in the United States; considers federal and state-level activities; and analyzes the prospects for a national system of standards and assessments. Ravitch asserts that raising standards is about raising the achievement levels not only of the best students, but of all students. She suggests that deciding what children should learn is the first step toward achieving this goal. National standards should not discredit unorthodox educational programs or dictate instructional methods, however. Ravitch makes recommendations regarding the role of states in setting standards for schools and districts, the role of institutions of higher learning and business in promoting standards, and the role of assessments in maintaining standards. Ravitch contends that a system of standards and assessments, no matter how reliable, will not solve all the problems of American education, but it will help to get the teaching and learning parts of the educational system right. Ultimately the improvement of American education depends on widespread cultural support for educational achievement.
Brooking "The ongoing debate about national education standards and assessment in the U.S. has created as much confusion as it has solutions. What has been needed is an examination of the educational, historical, political, and social issues related to the development of such standards. Ravitch provides such a foundation." Choice Updating her highly acclaimed book, Diane Ravitch presents the latest information on the debate over national standards and assessments."Ensuring a rigorous liberal education for all is asking a lot in a contentious democracy like ours. Is it possible to educate every child to the same high standards? Is it politically feasible? Will raising standards help or hinder poor minority children? Ravitch sees where these land mines are buried and her book provides an indispensable diagram for getting around them." The Wall Street Journal"A simple message lies at the heart of Diane Ravitch's new book.... If clear and consistent goals of learning could be set for all American children, rich and poor, gifted and ordinary, then all of these children would end up better educated than they now are likely to be." The New York Times"No one could be more qualified to write a book about national standards in education than Diane Ravitch." The Washington Times"The ongoing debate about national education standards and assessment in the U.S. has created as much confusion as it has solutions. What has been needed is an examination of the educational, historical, political, and social issues related to the development of such standards. Ravitch provides such a foundation." ChoiceDiane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of educational research and improvement at the U.S. Department of Education, is a senior research fellow at New York University and a nonresident senior fellow in the Governmental Studies program at the Brookings Institution.