Diane\'s Blog

Tom in the Great Basin

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

I really enjoyed your book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. As a veteran teacher, I’m on the front lines and see clearly the consequences testing and corporate America have on our public school classrooms.

I teach 1st grade in a small rural school that is part of a very impoverished community. We have no PE, Art, or Music classes, and have narrowed our curriculum to focus almost exclusively on Reading, Writing and Math. Our district is doing all it can to reduce the number of special education students. Why? In my opinion, a special education subgroup makes it much harder to make AYP. As if things weren’t hard enough, the public now seems to feel I earn too much and my benefits are too generous. Huh?

This is a very difficult time to be a teacher. I’m glad to have scholars like you asking important questions and exposing important truths. Please keep up the good work.


Tom (Somewhere in the Great Basin)*
*Last name withheld for protection in a post Collective Bargaining world