"I think the crisis in American education is that there is a concerted effort to destroy it. That is a crisis—that's a genuine crisis. Is there a crisis of academic achievement? No.
"First of all, the test scores are the highest they've ever been in history on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is a no-stakes test. The scores of white kids, black kids, Hispanic kids, and Asian kids are the highest ever in history. What you hear from Bill Gates and [former chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools] Michelle Rhee and all the others is we're in a period of decline, all the schools are obsolete, the test scores are flat. Nonsense. They have been going up steadily for 40 years, and they are the highest they've been in history.
"Number two, the graduation rates today are the highest in history. Number three, the dropout rates are the lowest in history.
"Is there a crisis in American education? Yes: We have all these Wall Street-funded foundation people running around saying we have to get rid of public education and saying all these phony things about our schools."
Diane Ravitch Talks School Reform, the Chicago Strike, and the "Testing Vampire"