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Diane Ravitch

Awards and Honors:
John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
National Academy of Education

Diane Ravitch was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and was one of the charter members of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education (1999–2008).

Ravitch is a research professor at New York University, a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a member of the board of the New America Foundation. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and the Society of American Historians. From 1997–2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board.

During the first Bush administration, Ravitch served as an assistant secretary for educational research and improvement and as a counselor to the U.S. Department of Education. She is a former professor of history and education at Columbia University's Teachers College and a former adviser to Poland's Ministry of Education.

In 2005, the United Federation of Teachers recognized Ravitch's efforts "to make a difference in the lives of New York City school children" and awarded her the prestigious John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education. She was also a recipient of the Breukelein Institute’s 2005 Gaudium Award.

Ravitch is the editor of many publications, including the annual Brookings Papers on Education Policy. She edited The Schools We Deserve, Debating the Future of American Education, and The American Reader.

She has many books to her credit including The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (Alfred A. Knopf, 2003), winner of the Hoover Institution’s 2004 Uncommon Book Award; Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms; National Standards in American Education: A Citizen's Guide; What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know? (with Hoover senior fellow and Koret Task Force member Chester E. Finn Jr.); The Great School Wars: New York City, 1805–1973; and The Troubled Crusade: American Education, 1945–1980. Her publications have been translated into many languages. Her articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Brookings Review.

Ravitch, a historian of education, has lectured on democracy and civic education throughout the world. Her website is

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Recent Commentary

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What’s Wrong with Merit Pay?

by Diane Ravitchvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 9, 2009

It will probably reward test prep instead of real learning. By Diane Ravitch.

Analysis and Commentary

Tests Have Value, But Testing is Being Misused

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I am glad to see that you are trying to draw us back to the issues where we have genuine differences!...

Analysis and Commentary

The NCLB Paradox Enters the Twilight Zone

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Over the past week, you and I have each weighed in on the defects of testing...

Analysis and Commentary

Critical thinking? You need knowledge

by Diane Ravitchvia Boston Globe
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

THE LATEST fad to sweep K-12 education is called “21st-Century Skills...

Analysis and Commentary

The Secret of Success and High Test Scores

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I will have to delay a bit before I can get to the book you recommended...

Analysis and Commentary

Bloomberg's bogus school report cards destroy real progress

by Diane Ravitchvia Daily News (NY)
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The latest school grades released by the city's Education Department are bogus...

Analysis and Commentary

The Start of an Interesting and Dangerous School Year

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Wednesday, September 9, 2009

School is open, and it is time to talk!...

Analysis and Commentary

Toughen the Tests

by Diane Ravitchvia New York Post
Thursday, August 13, 2009

DAVID Steiner, our new state commissioner of education, has a golden opportunity to restore New York's reputation as a national leader in education...

Analysis and Commentary

Charter and private schools might not make the grade either

by Diane Ravitchvia Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The board of the Los Angeles Unified School District is opening 50 schools over the next few years and considering a proposal to allow some or all to be privately managed...

In the News

Why Are We Lying To Children?

by Diane Ravitchvia National Journal
Monday, July 20, 2009

No Child Left Behind created a perfect storm of lying and fraud, all of it completely legitimate...