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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

Data-Driven Nonsense

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

You seem to believe that I was chastising "the poor" for their lack of manners...

In the News

What 'The Harlem Miracle' Really Teaches

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The columnists at The New York Times are deeply engaged in school reform these days...

In the News

What NAEP Long-Term Trend Scores Tell Us About NCLB

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I watched with some amusement as the media tried to figure out how to report the latest results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)...

In the News

Can Better Teachers Close the Achievement Gap?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A new report by McKinsey & Co., the management consultants, came out last week, and it is worthy of our attention...

In the News

What's Wrong With Merit Pay

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Over time we have developed a very solid and smart community of readers who like to argue with us and with each other...

In the News

The School Reform Miracle That Wasn't

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We in New York City were treated to an amazing show in early April...

Analysis and Commentary

Mayor Bloomberg’s Crib Sheet

by Diane Ravitchvia New York Times
Thursday, April 9, 2009

ARNE DUNCAN, the secretary of education, has urged the nation’s mayors to take control of their public schools so that they can impose radical reforms...

In the News

President Obama's Manufactured Crisis Speech

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I want to go back and discuss President Obama’s big speech on education...

In the News

Will Public Education Survive the Embrace of Big Money?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My guess is that we will have a long time, not months, but years, to discuss national standards and a national curriculum...

In the News

President Obama’s Agenda

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I will get back to you on another day about the strengths and dangers of a national curriculum...