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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

In the News

Those Lazy, Crazy, Hazy Days of Summer

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We have had fun these past couple of years exploring our differences and our agreements...

All Twitter, No Twain

All Twitter, No Twain

by Diane Ravitchvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Americans may be reading online, but that’s not literature. Without the great authors, where are the great thoughts? By Diane Ravitch.

Good teachers

Miraculous Shortcuts

by Diane Ravitchvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

People swoon over education miracles: super teachers, infallible tests, legendary principals. But building good schools is hard, unglamorous work. By Diane Ravitch.

In the News

A Worthy Proposal for State Inspection Teams

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The current effort to develop national standards in English and math is something to which we will surely pay close attention...

In the News

The Data Game

by Diane Ravitch with Margaret (Macke) Raymondvia Education Week
Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ah, data. A new study from the Center on Education Policy finds that state tests scores have been rising steadily since the passage of NCLB...

In the News

The Obama Agenda is the GOP Agenda

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

If you recall, I took some heat from readers when I said some while back that the Obama administration was adopting the same policies as the Bush administration and that Arne Duncan sounds amazingly like Margaret Spellings on issues like accountability and choice...

Analysis and Commentary

Time to Kill ‘No Child Left Behind’

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The latest release of scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress provides no evidence for the effectiveness of the federal No Child Left Behind Act...

In the News

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I enjoyed seeing you honored as a hero of education by FairTest last week, which established an annual award named for you...

In the News

Is School Choice the Civil Rights Issue of Our Time?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

You say that schools are now, for “the second time…at the center of the civil rights movement.”...

In the News

Why Education is Not the Civil Rights Issue of Our Time

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I was glad to read your comments on the faux-Education Equality Project (EEP), now headed by New York City’s Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and the Reverend Al Sharpton, with the assistance of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich...