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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Monday, March 19, 2012 - 8:30am
In Defense of Facing Educational Reality
I recently wrote two review articles for the New York Review of Books about the teaching profession. The first was a review of Pasi Sahlberg's Finnish Lessons , about the exceptional school system of Finland, which owes much to the high professionalism of its teachers.
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Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 11:50am
Flunking Arne Duncan
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan loves evaluation. He insists that everyone should willingly submit to public grading of the work they do. The Race to the Top program he created for the Obama Administration requires states to evaluate all teachers based in large part on the test scores of their students.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011 - 10:20am
A Nation's Education Left Behind
My theme for today: Whose children have been left behind?
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - 9:58am
School ‘Reform’: A Failing Grade
It is a well-known fact that American education is in crisis. Black and Hispanic children have lower test scores than white and Asian children. The performance of American students on international tests is mediocre.
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Monday, March 14, 2011 - 11:31am
Eight Civics Lessons from Governor Walker
Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has taught the nation some very important civics lessons. The price is high, but we should pay careful attention to what he teaches by example.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 2:18pm
Corporate 'Education Reform': A Moment of National Insanity
I'm beginning to think we are living in a moment of national insanity. On the one hand, we hear pious exhortations about education reform, endlessly uttered by our leaders in high political office, corporate suites, foundations, and the media.
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Sunday, November 7, 2010 - 12:35pm
The Myth of Charter Schools
Ordinarily, documentaries about education attract little attention, and seldom, if ever, reach neighborhood movie theaters. Davis Guggenheim's "Waiting for "Superman" is different. It arrived in late September with the biggest publicity splash I have ever seen for a documentary. Not only was it the subject of major stories in Time and New York, but it was featured twice on The Oprah Winfrey Show and was the centerpiece of several days of programming by NBC, including an interview with President Obama.
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Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 10:04am
Obama's Education Reform Push is Bad Education Policy
There have been two features that regularly mark the history of U.S. public schools. Over the last century, our education system has been regularly captivated by a Big Idea -- a savant or an organization that promised a simple solution to the problems of our schools. The second is that there are no simple solutions, no miracle cures to those problems. Education is a slow, arduous process that requires the work of willing students, dedicated teachers and supportive families, as well as a coherent curriculum.
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Monday, June 15, 2009 - 11:40am
Obama Gives Bush a 3rd Term in Education
The great mystery of education policy today is why the Obama administration is embracing the Bush program. I recently wrote in Education Week (June 10) that it is time to kill the Bush-era No Child Left Behind program. The overwhelming majority of teachers agree with me. Those who educate our kids know that NCLB is a failed program that is not improving our schools but rather turning them into test-prep factories and dumbing down our kids.
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