Why Teachers, Not Reformers, Should “Reimagine Education”Historians in the News
tags: education, philanthropy, charter schools, Gates Foundation
In our latest podcast, education expert Diane Ravitch puts this situation into context, citing the many-decades-long resistance movement among public school teachers across the nation. Ravitch watched the 2018 West Virginia teachers strike to protest charter school expansion, along with low pay and poor health insurance for teachers.
“It completely changed the national narrative,” she says. “I started understanding that there was an actual resistance and that it was powerful.”
In fact, Ravitch was so inspired by the strikes that she wrote a book about it, entitled Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools. Ravitch is the author of several other books, an expert in the history of public education, and a widely respected educational policy analyst. In our podcast, she explains why she chooses to label the private companies and billionaire philanthropists who promote privatization of public education “disrupters” rather than their preferred term of “reformers.” She contends that the best way to improve public schools is not through “school reform” but rather by addressing inequality and structural racism.