Diane Ravitch's new book blasts the school choice and charter school movement that is taking hold in various school districts across the country. For the majority of her career in education, Ravitch, a former assistant secretary at the Department of Education and a fellow at the Brookings Institute, primarily was an education scholar who published material that was fairly complementary to education reform.
According to a long article in City Journal, Ravitch's turn to embrace anti-reform advocates began in 2007, culminating in her book "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools." Explaining her complete reversal in viewing America's education system, City Journal writes:
A few years ago, Ravitch grew so troubled about the purported threat to the public schools that she went through an amazing life change for a 73-year-old historian, whose previous career had been spent writing scholarly books. She reinvented herself as a vehement political activist. Once one of the conservative school-reform movement's most visible faces, Ravitch became the inspirational leader of a radical countermovement that is rising from the grass roots to oppose the corporate villains. Evoking the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King, Ravitch proclaims that the only answer to the corporate school-reform agenda is to "build a political movement so united and clear in its purpose that it would be heard in every state Capitol and even in Washington, D.C." The problem is that Ravitch's civil rights analogy is misplaced; her new ideological allies have proved themselves utterly incapable of raising the educational achievement of poor minority kids.