Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools by Diane Ravitch. I rated it 4 stars, “really liked it”, on Goodreads and shelved it there as American, educational, history, nonfiction, public institutions, scholarly, and social issues. You can click the linked title to read the synopsis.
It’s been months since I shared any book thoughts here, but this book is worthy of high praise, so I couldn’t resist.
Slaying Goliath is an excellent and timely exposé of the network of billionaires, think tanks, policy institutes, and politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, who have sought for the past 30 years to de-fund, demean, and eventually destroy American public education and replace it with a variety of unaccountable, unaccredited, and opaque taxpayer funded(!) private charter and religious schools.
Ravitch is a relentless sleuth and has done a meticulous job of researching the issues in order to expose the corruption, nepotism, double-dealing, and theft of public monies that is endemic to the privatization movement. She shows how, in state after state after state, efforts to replace public schools have been characterized again and again by short-lived, failing private charters and religious schools that often end up closing after a few short years and having served no other purpose than illicitly, often illegally, to enrich their owners at the expense of the public and especially of the children and families they were supposed to have helped.
Ravitch reveals how the wealthy and powerful privatizers, all of whom she lumps together as Disruptors, have made a mockery of trying to reform public schools across the country. She also profiles many of the teachers, parents, students, and groups, all of whom Ravitch labels the Resistance, who have successfully fought against the Disruptors in numerous states. Unfailingly, they are inspiring profiles in courage and determination, and it is largely the Resistance’s resilience that has kept the Disruption movement from gaining much ground.
If you ever had, will have, or currently have children or dependents in America’s public schools, please read Slaying Goliath. Get outraged. Take action.