Diane Ravitch is a household name-for households where EdWeek, Rethinking Schools, and #edreform are standard reading. For most Americans, though, her newest book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools, probably didn’t jump off the shelf or raise eyebrows. But it’s important information at a time when everyone needs to be thinking about and rethinking education.

Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education, was a leading architect of the George W. Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind law. She is among the few national public figures in education who have shown the courage to acknowledge publicly that the policies she promoted were wrong. Ravitch now has one of the strongest followings and loudest megaphones among teachers and education activists who want an end to high-stakes standardized tests and other tools of the ‘accountability era”-what she now sees as a ‘corporate education reform agenda” aimed at breaking public education as we’ve known it.

This reversal leaves her open to challenges of her change of head and heart. I witnessed such a moment this fall at Dartmouth College, where Ravitch addressed a room full of Vermont school board members and superintendents.

The first question after her […]

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