Memphis, TN – Education reform in the U.S. is moving increasingly towards measuring teachers and schools based--in part--on their students' scores on standardized tests. Memphis is home to three of the most prominent national reform programs--No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and the Bill & Melinda Gates' Foundation Teacher Effectiveness Initiative. Not everyone, however, thinks these reforms are such a good idea. Professor of Education at New York University Diane Ravitch is one of their most prominent critics. In this two-part interview she spoke to Eleanor Boudreau about her concerns and about how test-score-driven reforms are impacting one very important group--teachers.
Ravitch served as Assistant Secretary of Education while Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander was Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush; and she is author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.