In this incisive, meticulously researched book, Ravitch...argues persuasively that the U.S. school privatization movement has resulted in poor test scores, the closure of public schools, and attacks on the teaching profession ... This extensive analysis is required reading for anyone concerned about American education.
Missing from these pages are the subtle insight and informed judgment for which she was once known ... Ravitch takes a defiant leap over the line separating reasoned case-building from empty sloganeering and ad hominem attacks ... she writes, adopting an imperious tone that is new to her books ... her portraits of these valiant fighters are curiously selective. Not included among them are the mothers and fathers, many of them people of color, who engage in activism ... In Ravitch’s rather cynical calculus, those who don’t agree with her on issues like charter schools have either been bought or been duped ... even if Ravitch has often been justified in raising alarms, it’s painful to see the absence of nuance she exhibits here ... Occasionally visible are flashes of the sharp but fair-minded writer from her previous works ... Ravitch has let go of some admirable intellectual practices and well-founded convictions. She would be wise to recover them.
Ravitch...explores the promises and failures of the charter school movement in this passionate polemic ... [a] well-sourced account ... With a strong balance of big-picture statistics with local case studies, Slaying Goliath will inform and energize readers interested in improving public education.