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N&O’s Ned Barnett on Diane Ravitch

In case you missed last week’s NC Policy Watch luncheon with Diane Ravitch, you can still watch it by clicking here. You can also read Ned Barnett’s column in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer in which the veteran journalist summarizes the hard truths Ravitch spelled out as she dismantled the “reform” plans of North Carolina’s Senate leader Phil Berger.

On Tuesday, state Sen. Phil Berger, an Eden Republican and president pro tem of the Senate, introduced Senate Bill 361 calling for sweeping changes to repair the state’s “broken” public schools, mostly by getting tough with teachers.

The bill would end teacher tenure and offer bonuses to the most effective teachers. It also dictates that grades A through F be applied to schools based on their performance on state tests, national exams and graduation rates.

“The days of accepting a broken education system in North Carolina are over,” Berger said at a news conference.

On Thursday, Diane Ravitch swept into the capital city for a talk at Marbles Kids Museum and delivered a rousing rebuttal to Berger and a host of other would-be reformers who Ravitch thinks are taking public education over a cliff.

Ravitch, a historian of education, a research professor at New York University and a highly regarded author and prolific blogger on education issues, hammered Berger’s proposals from the start of her talk, sponsored by the NC Justice Center and Public Schools First NC.

“North Carolina seems determined to destroy the teaching profession and demoralize every teacher in the state,” she said.

Read the rest of Barnett’s column by clicking here.

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