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How Sad that Charles Blow is So Misinformed on Common Core

Charles Blow is one of the columnists in the New York Times that I usually count on to challenge the conventional wisdom and to speak up for the powerless.

Sadly, in this column, he parrots the conventional wisdom and voices the opinions of the elites.

Imagine, he calls the Broad Foundation a “reform” organization. The readers of this blog know the Broad Foundation as the source of malicious policies that are privatizing public schools and destroying communities. Some of the worst, most arrogant leaders in US education have been “trained” by the unaccredited Broad Academy. The foundation issued a guide on how to close schools that is a Bible for the corporate reform movement.


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As for the international test scores, Blow should not have relied on Time magazine’s Amanda Ripley. He should have looked at the Rothstein-Carnoy study, which demonstrates that the PISA results were misleading, or the recent article in the UK Times Educational Supplement, where test experts maintained that the scores on PISA are “meaningless,” or considered the more recent TIMSS test, where American students did very well. Or read the chapter in my new book on the myths and facts about international testing.

Why in the world would he enthuse about the Common Core tests, which widened the gaps in New York between affluent and poor, between black and white, between English language learners and native speakers, between children with disabilities and those without? Common Core has no evidence to support its claims. As we see it in action in New York, we see that it is deepening the stratification of society and falsely labeling two-thirds of the state’s children as failures.

Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is a historian of education at New York University. Her most recent book is Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools.  Her previous books and articles about American education include: The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform, (Simon & Schuster, 2000); The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (Knopf, 2003); The English Reader: What Every Literate Person Needs to Know (Oxford, 2006), which she edited with her son Michael Ravitch. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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