Ripley’s Botched Attack on Ravitch: A Euro Is Not a Dollar

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In December 2011, writer Amanda Ripley published a post in which she tried hard to discredit education historian Diane Ravitch’s claim that the US poverty level is a factor in the 2009 PISA rankings.

Even though Ripley’s piece is over two years old, I only read it yesterday. In her smug attempt to discredit Ravitch’s interpretation of the role of US poverty upon US PISA scores, Ripley makes a gross blunder in her supposed comparison of poverty between American and Finland (when poverty is defined as “below median income”).

Ripley advances the premise, “great schools are among the most effective anti-poverty measures known to humanity.”

Ripley does not bother to define what makes a “great school.” From the focus of her post, apparently a “great school” is one that delivers high standardized test scores.

I believe that “great schools” are well-funded; that the focus of “great schools” is not on…

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