Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools

Diane Ravitch. Knopf, $27.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-385-35088-4
Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System) offers a vital nonpartisan critique of the policies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and the school privatization movement. Backed by abundant data, she distinguishes between these policies and their enactment, which demands that students master achievement tests, while educators face decreased funding, firings, and school closures. Meanwhile, unprecedented amounts of tax dollars flow into private charter school chains. Ravitch convincingly analyzes the rhetoric of Michelle Rhee, Bill Gates, and other private/public school-choice advocates, whose campaigns and lobbying efforts for charter schools have created a network of corporations funneling millions of earmarked educational dollars into administrative salaries, rents, test-prep consultants, and textbook publishers. As Ravitch argues, the mission of public education—preparing young people to take part in a democracy—cannot be fulfilled by competition between private corporations and public schools to increase test scores in reading and math at the expense of other subjects. Her practical solutions include a return to localized school control, early-childhood education for all, better teacher training, mentoring, and retention, as well as better achievement metrics for students and teachers. Categorizing current policy as “educational malpractice,” Ravitch concludes with the suggestion that “protecting our public schools against privatization and saving them for future generations of American children is the civil rights issue of our time.” 41 graphs. Agent: Glen Hartley, Writers’ Representatives. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/22/2013
Release date: 09/17/2013
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 337 pages - 978-0-385-35089-1
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-345-80635-2
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.