Write an essay (500-700 words) about one of the questions for critical writing topics provided for at the end of Ravitch’s article on page 422. The questions are also posted here. Indicate which question you are answering at the top of the page. Submit your essay as an ASSIGNMENT by Wednesday. QUESTIONS FOR CRITICAL WRITING When policy makers decide that public education is designed to prepare students for the workplace rather than for the responsibilities of citizenship, what do you foresee as the ultimate results? What do you see as the final results of a testing program of the kind that Ravitch describes? Did you undergo such a testing program? Do you feel it has prepared you well for the future? In paragraph 18 Ravitch lists a number of historical issues that she feels the public schools should prepare students to know and understand. Did your education prepare you to know enough about these issues to make you feel confident that you can discuss them with others? Write an essay explaining to someone who does not know what these issues are why they are important and why students should learn about them in school. Why should we know our own history? Ravitch includes the study of a foreign language as necessary in a good curriculum. Do you agree with her? In a persuasive essay, attack or defend her position on the need for public school students to study a foreign language. If you have studied a foreign language, explain what you feel the benefit has been. If you have not studied a foreign language, explain why not. What might be the intellectual benefit of studying a different language? Is there any downside to such study? In paragraph 8 Ravitch lists a number of schools that have the kind of curriculum that she approves and that she says is demanded by an “educated parent.” She suggests going online and checking out the curriculum of one or more of them. Do so — look up one of the schools and find out what courses they teach and what requirements they have. If necessary, ask for a catalog or course description. Compare the program you discover with the program you remember from your own school. What are the differences and similarities? Was your education compromised by spending an excessive amount of time on testing? Look up the Common Core requirements for standards in education. What are they? Do you feel they are as problematic as Ravitch does? These requirements are controversial, and many educators support them. Do you? Were you taught the Common Core? If so, do you feel your experience was positive or negative? Did the Common Core limit your experiences in school, or do you feel it expanded your educational horizon? If you did not experience the Common Core curriculum, do you, after reviewing its requirements, wish you had? Ravitch is opposed to charter schools and privatization for a number of reasons. If you have studied at a charter school, write an essay that explains the positive features of the education you received. Would you recommend a charter school to other students? Ravitch feels that charter schools will attract all the high achievers and leave the public schools full of underachievers, which may ultimately harm them. Do you think this is true? What in your experience might help decide the question one way or another? In paragraph 6, Ravitch notes that the standardized testing program widespread in American public schools is being tracked over a long period of time, perhaps a lifetime, in order to see how the test scores may predict success later in life. Are you happy about the decision to evaluate test scores in this fashion? Do you think your prediction of success in life is likely to be reflected in your test scores? Do you think the government should have the power to track students in terms of their test scores? What problems might you foresee with this program? (based on Gardner) If some kinds of intelligences are culturally linked and of special importance in some cultures but not others, is there one form of intelligence that is totally cross-cultural and that is of great importance in all cultures? Which one is it, and why? Which of its characteristics and values make it cross-cultural?