Diane Ravitch talks education on The Daily Show

(Photo courtesy of Democratic Education)

Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System appeared on the Jon Stewart show last night to discuss the problems with the American education system.  “Schools have been turned into testing factories,” she said, which in turn eliminates the time for more interesting subjects like the arts, physical education and sciences. Children need a reason to want to come to school and testing has the opposite effect, she continued. Finland is leading as #1 in the world for education and they don’t give standardized tests. They instead, train great teachers and focus on children learning and engaging in subjects. People in the United States find it easy to blame the teachers for low test scores, but Ravitch says poverty is the root of the problem. How can these children perform when they do not have adequate food or healthcare?

When I was in grade school, we spent months prepping for standardized tests so the school and district could look good in polls. What about the students? These tests do not help, but turn children off to learning. Teaching tests strategies is not education. Exposure to cultures and abstract thinking are absent from standardized tests, no matter which way you look at it. It is important for states to gauge the progress of their school systems, but the bombardment of standardized testing is taking away from the very premise of education.

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. – William Butler Yeats

The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.  – Bill Beattie

View the entire interview here:

Source: Huffington Post

Do you agree with Ravitch? Let’s hear your thoughts!


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