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So how can the malicious nonsense be stopped? Succumbing a bit to the educationese she often mocks, Ravitch offers a threefold “strategy to achieve this goal.” First, “eliminate the state textbook adoption process,” which gives California and Texas, with their huge public school markets, undue control over decisions made by a few giant publishers. The leverage of the two big states allows the extremists to concentrate their pressure tactics and force adoption decisions that affect the whole nation.
Ravitch favors a radical deregulation of textbook adoption, freeing teachers to choose their own materials and thus forcing the political busybodies “to make their case to millions of teachers and thousands of schools” rather than threaten a few big publishers at statewide hearings. The competition would bring in new publishers and truly talented writers. “Bad textbooks would die a natural and unlamented death.”
But the market solution depends entirely on two other “prongs” of the Ravitch strategy. We must first expose the bastards (Ravitch is more delicate: she favors “sunshine” laws that require the publishers and state agencies to open their secretive “bias guidelines” for public scrutiny), and we need “better-educated teachers” who can make wise use of the freedom to select their own materials.
Critical skills question: Which of these three “prongs” is so remote as to render the Ravitch strategy nearly hopeless? Read the book, and decide for yourself. And think about homeschooling.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?