Like many rich Americans, Nick used to think that focusing their philanthropic efforts in the country’s education system could heal many of our biggest problems. But in The Atlantic last month, he admitted he was wrong—better schools won’t fix America unless we fix inequality first. He’s joined this week by Diane Ravitch, a giant in the education policy world who also changed her mind about what works and what doesn’t. Can these two converts from the theory of educationism find a new way to expand educational opportunity in America while also combating runaway income inequality?

Diane Ravitch is a Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She is the Founder and President of the Network for Public Education. From 1991 to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush, where she led the federal effort to promote the creation of voluntary state and national academic standards. In her book ‘The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education’, Ravitch examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. 

Twitter: @DianeRavitch

Further reading: 

Better Schools Won’t Fix America: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/education-isnt-enough/590611/