This is by far my favorite review of Diane Ravitch’s new book Reign of Error. From the title to Jose Vilson’s unique voice, he is clearly a supporter but one with far more punch and entertainment value.
One of the most interesting riffs of this review is how Vilson almost combines a review of both her most recent books. Given that he read the volumes so close together, it gives this review a little more power and flow.
This is probably my favorite endorsement of all.
I’m asking you to read this book and keep it somewhere within arms length for the next decade or so. She sets the record straight, rolls up her sleeves, and pulls up research from Richard Rothstein, Paul Krugman, and Linda Darling-Hammond to boot. Asking for rich, full curriculum, a path to eliminating child poverty, and decreasing the impact of standardized testing aren’t radical concepts in the vein of the socialist redistribution of wealth, universal health care, and the dissolving of the military industrial complex (I advocate for the latter trio, if you must know).
Of course, Vilson confronts deflection-aimed claims that Ravitch is somehow racist for calling out poverty as a major contributor to struggling education efforts. He does so with his typical direct and insightful style.
Most of all, Vilson highlights how much Ravitch represents a perspective that is shared by classroom practitioners from the educational front. This point certainly resonates with me. I was planning on reading the book anyway, but this review makes me want to do it even faster.