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

If only it were true that a child raised in an impoverished home had the same life chances as children brought up in affluent homes, where food, medical care, and personal security are never in doubt. (Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
What's Your Zip Code? Why Poverty Matters in Public Education
From the earliest days of corporate reform, which is now generally recognized to have been a failed effort to "reform" schools by privatizing them and by making standardized testing the focal point of education, we heard again and again that a child’s zip code should not be his or her destiny...
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Sunrise at the Washington Monument on August 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images) Views
Friday, January 01, 2021
Welcome 2021! Go Away, 2020!
Well, congratulations! If you are reading this, you have experienced and survived the worst pandemic since the 1918 Flu. It was a truly lousy year. Nearly 350,000 Americans died because of the coronavirus. Millions of people lost their jobs, their homes, their security. Countless numbers were...
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Leslie T. Fenwick (pictured right). (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM) Views
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick for Secretary of Education
President-Elect Joe Biden will soon announce his choice for Secretary of Education. He promised to choose a person with experience as a teacher. He said he wants a Secretary who is committed to public education. Here is my choice. I can’t think of anyone better qualified to be Secretary of...
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Why doesn’t Gov. Andrew Cuomo (right) listen to parents and teachers and students, who will tell him to reinvent schools by fully funding them? (Photo:  Gov. Andrew Cuomo / flickr / cc) Views
Wednesday, May 06, 2020
Beware! Cuomo Adds Another Billionaire to "Reimagine" Post-Pandemic Public Education
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he has tapped a second billionaires to “reinvent” education in New York state after the pandemic. According to the New York Post , Cuomo sees distance learning as “the wave of the future,” so who better to enlist as his advisers than Bill...
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Sign reads: Protect public education. Views
Monday, November 18, 2019
Yes, Something Stinks about the State Takeover of the Houston Independent School District
A trio of activists on behalf of public schools wrote a blistering critique of the pending state takeover of the Houston Independent School District , based on the failure of ONE high school that has an unusually high proportion of students who are poor and have disabilities. Zeph Capo is president...
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Legislators are easy to buy in a poor state. The Waltons own quite a few. (Photo: OUR Walmart) Views
Thursday, September 05, 2019
The Walton Family Plot to Privatize the Public Schools of Arkansas
The headquarters of the Walton/Walmart billionaires is in Bentonville, Arkansas, so it is not surprising that the Walton Family Foundation and the members of the family (net worth: $100 billion) have decided to privatize the public schools of Arkansas. Arkansas is a poor state. It doesn’t have an...
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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo Views
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Providence Plans to Defund Its Public Schools to Expand “No Excuses” Charter
The evidence is clear that privately managed charters can get higher test scores by culling, exclusion, and attrition. It’s equally clear that charters drain resources from the public schools that enroll most students. Most public officials seem to understand that it costs more to run parallel...
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Betsy DeVos at CPAC in 2017 Views
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Florida: The Graveyard of American Public Education
Florida has the worst education policies of any state in the nation, and it is about to get even more destructive, more ignorant, more backward. Read this alarming article and remember that Betsy DeVos points to Florida as a model . A model, yes. A model of how religious extremists, rightwing...
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Does she have a guilty conscience about removing protection from transgender students, indebted college students, and sexual assault victims? (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/cc) Views
Monday, November 19, 2018
Cost to Protect Betsy DeVos: $20 Million
Why is Betsy DeVos afraid? In her first year in office, some protestors in Washington, D.C., objected to her visit at a public school. Since then, she has had a special detachment of U.S. Marshalls giving her round-the-clock protection. Other cabinet secretaries have encountered protestors. None of...
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Sunday, March 11, 2018
On Charter Schools, Is Mayor De Blasio Turning into Mayor Bloomberg
When Bill de Blasio ran for Mayor the first time, he sought my help. We met and spoke candidly. He told me he would strongly support traditional public schools. He said he would oppose the expansion of private charters into public school space. He promised to stop closing schools because of their...
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