Discover and share stories

of adventure, connection, and change making.

9 people think this is good

Why Our Definition of a 'Failing' School Needs Some Readjusting

Liz Dwyer

We hear so much about "failing" schools, but rarely stop to question whether our definition of failing is accurate. Education historian Diane Ravitch notes that labeling schools as failing is a relatively recent development. "Any school with low test scores is called a 'failing school,'" notes Ravitch, "without any inquiry into the circumstances of the school." The solution has been firing the entire staff or closing the school down. What would happen if we truly invested in the school instead?

Continue to



  1. {{}}
  1. {{fields.video_link.url}}

Ready to post! You’ve uploaded the maximum number of images.

Your video is ready to post!

Oops! Nice pic, but it’s just not our (file) type. Please try uploading a .jpg or .png image.

Well, this is embarrassing. Something went wrong when posting your comment. Care to try again?

That image is too large. Maximum size is 6MB.

Please enter a valid URL from YouTube or Vimeo.

Embedding has been disabled for this video.


Posting comment...

  • Cyril B. Saulny

    Now that's an oxymoron, a "failing school!"

  • Dennis Van Roekel

    "Failing" schools is a misnomer. Instead we should focus on some of the failed policies that hurt students and schools: increased class sizes, teacher layoffs, cutting early education and pre-k funding, and budget cuts that take much-needed resources out of high-need schools.