Diane Ravitch: Charter Schools Won't Save the School System

The historian talks about what’s gone wrong with American schools.

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Charter schools won't save the American school system, says Diane Ravitch, a historian of education at New York University who worked in the first Bush administration as assistant secretary of education.

In her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, Ravitch argues that charter schools do little more than skim off the most motivated students, while giving crooks a chance to squander tax dollars on big salaries for administrators.

What schools need now, Ravitch says, is a return to a curriculum that includes American history, civics, art, and music rather than the current obsession with skills testing.

U.S. News & World Report's Kenneth Terrell talked with Ravitch about what's gone wrong with American schools, and what kind of leadership is needed to get the schools back on track.

Here's Diane Ravitch on leadership in school reform:

Listen Now: Diane Ravitch: Charter Schools Won't Save the School System

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[Click here to listen to the interview with Ravitch.]

The U.S. News podcast series, Leadership for the Next Decade, explores the ideas, innovations, and solutions that will inspire America for the future. Moderated by U.S. News Editor Brian Kelly, the podcasts feature exclusive interviews with leaders across the spectrum, from education, business, art, science, and medicine to government, public service, and philanthropy.