Topic: No Child Left Behind/Race to the Top
Title: Dictating to the Schools: A Look at the Effect of the Bush and Obama Administrations on Schools. Ravitch is likely against too much government influence on schools and feels that government control is detrimental.
Intended audience: The intended audience is primarily professionals in the field of education and education policy, including teachers and school administrators. However, parents with school-aged children and citizens interested in education reform or education policy could also be included as part of the audience.
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While she notes that the policy stigmatizes low performing schools and holds them to unattainable goals, she calls for less government control of education reform and more need for well-educated teachers who are provided with support, professional evaluation, and strong curriculum.
Part 3: The multiple-paragraph summary
Ravitch (2011), U.S. Department of Education’s Assistant Secretary of Education, criticizes the Obama administration’s Race to the Top education policy agenda for following what she calls the “disaster” of Bush’s No Child Left Behind policy. Government control of education, she notes, has only led public schools to rely heavily on standardized test scores. Ravitch warns that, under the Obama administration, teachers are provided incentives and raises based on test performance, which results in class time being spent teaching test-taking skills or teaching to the test rather than on rich curriculum.
Additionally, Ravitch criticizes the Obama administration’s reliance on charter schools as a way of reforming underperforming public schools, explaining that charters don’t answer the real challenges that face low-income or non-native speaking student populations. In the end, she warns that the outcome will produce students who are not able to comprehend complex knowledge and schools that limit history, science, the arts, civics, and many other components of the...