Watch this speech by Diane Ravitch, the famed education historian who served in government under both President George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and whose new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Undermine Education, is making some waves in education circles.
The run-up to the important quote here starts around 18:00 and lands after 19:00. I recommend watching Ravitch’s entire speech, although for noneducators some of it may be jargon-y. This much is for sure: She’s no fan of “No Child Left Behind.” And she’s big on arts education.
The quote from Ravitch, in fact, might startle people on the right:
I believe that the federal government should mandate that every child in American should have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument.
Here is more on Ravitch, from her website: http://www.dianeravitch.com/vita.html.
So, how likely is such a mandate? Alas, I would argue, not very likely at all. What do you think?