Some Polarized Opinions About Education

Earlier this semester, each member of our class held a Unity in Diversity Talk. The assignment was designed for us to explore various topics that are infused into what we know as the American Education System. Amanda Caliouette read and presented on The Great School Wars by Diane Ravitch, and Allison Hallmark read and presented on I Won’t Learn From You by Herbert Kohl. Both of these authors are well-known for their work in education reform, and I was surprised when I realized that their stories offered opposite views on social justice in education. From the presentations, I learned that Ravitch does not believe social justice should be at the center of education, but Herbert Kohl believes education is the heart of social justice.

Today, I read more about each of these authors. I read biographical information about each of them. I also read several of Diane Ravitch’s blog posts and blog posts about her. I was intrigued when I read an article by Kevin Carey about Ravitch, titled Diane Ravitch is Not Telling the Truth. I continued searching through her personal blog, and I also found this interesting article opposing our United States Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.

Ravitch writes many articles about the reform of our education system. My personal political opinions are not represented in either side of the articles aforementioned. Truly, I felt more hurt and disappointed that the articles about our education system were deeply polarized.

It’s true. The education system in America could use reform. As with anything that involves human relationships in/with the world around us, we should constantly be evaluating, challenging, growing, and changing ourselves. For some students, public school just won’t work in its current state. But for the kids who ARE in public schools, whether it be by choice or circumstance, we must continue to work hard to improve public education for ALL of them.

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