Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is a historian of education at New York University. Her most recent book is Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools.  Her previous books and articles about American education include: The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform, (Simon & Schuster, 2000); The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (Knopf, 2003); The English Reader: What Every Literate Person Needs to Know (Oxford, 2006), which she edited with her son Michael Ravitch. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Articles by this author

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Education in Crisis and the Threat of Privatization
It has become conventional wisdom that “education is in crisis.” I have been asked about this question by many interviewers. They say something like: “Do you think American education is in crisis? What is the cause of the crisis?” And I answer, “Yes, there is a crisis, but it is not the one you...
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Friday, March 04, 2016
Donald Trump Scares Me
I watched the GOP presidential debate last night and found it very depressing. The main event was the effort by Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz to pierce Trump’s armor and rattle him. The more they poked at him, the more belligerent he became. Given the wide lead Trump has, he is likely to be the...
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Saturday, January 30, 2016
The Perils of Privatization
Make no mistake: The purpose of privatization is to make a profit. The promise of privatization is efficiency. But in its pursuit of both profits and efficiency, privatization creates perverse incentives. It encourages privately managed charter schools to avoid or get rid of “expensive” students” (...
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Wednesday, December 09, 2015
NCLB Is Dead: ESSA is Law (After President Signs It)
The new Every Student Succeeds Act passed the Senate by an overwhelming vote. It will be law as soon as the President signs it, which he has said he will do. No Child Left Behind is history, a cruel law that set goals so far out of reach that it was certain to label every school in the nation a...
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Saturday, October 24, 2015
Advice from a Billionaire: Forget Charity, Do Good While Making a Profit
This is a very interesting interview with Bobby Turner , who is the partner of Andre Agassi in opening new charter schools for profit across the country. He seems to think that destroying public education is a way to perform good works. Charity is laudable, Bobby Turner says, but if you really want...
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Thursday, July 09, 2015
The Arne Duncan Era Has Not Been Good for Students
Lyndsey Layton of the Washington Post has written a sympathetic article about Arne Duncan and the waning of his powers as Secretary of Education. He is a nice guy. He is a close friend of the President. He cares about individual children that he met along the way. The pending reauthorization of the...
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Monday, June 22, 2015
1984 Arrives Thirty Years Late: Say Goodby to Privacy Forever if This Bill Passes
Legislation called “The Student Right to Know Before You Go Act” has been introduced in both houses of Congress . Nice name, no? Don’t you think you should have “the right to know before you go” to a college or university? What it really means is that the federal government will: authorize the...
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015
If Elected, Jeb Bush Will Privatize Public Education
Matthew Pulver, writing at Salon.com , describes Jeb Bush’s dangerous belief in privatization and free markets in education. It is not so much a belief as an ideology, one that is impervious to evidence. The many studies showing thAt privately managed charters do not get higher test scores than...
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Sunday, June 14, 2015
I Believe in Freedom of Choice
Parents should be able to send their children to the school of their choice, and they do; but the public should not be expected to pay for their private choices. The public has a civic obligation to support public education. Even if you don't have children, you pay taxes to educate the children of...
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Sunday, May 24, 2015
Do Reformers Actually Care About Education or About Cutting Costs?
One question that I have puzzled over again and again is why anyone who really cares about the quality of education would be a proponent of school choice, for example, vouchers for religious schools and charters run as a business. We have an abundance of evidence that these choices don’t usually...
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