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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

21st-Century Skills, Accountability, and Curriculum

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Last week, I attended three different conferences in Washington, D.C....

In the News

What About 21st Century Skills?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Since you brought up the subject of “21st Century skills,” it seemed like an opportune time to talk a bit about this subject...

In the News

Is Arne Duncan Really Margaret Spellings in Drag?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I have been watching and listening to our new secretary of education, trying to understand his views on the most important issues facing our schools and the nation's children...

Analysis and Commentary

Are Hollywood And The Internet Killing Reading?

by Diane Ravitchvia Forbes
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nearly five years ago, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) issued an alarming report called "Reading at Risk," which declared that literary reading was in dramatic decline...

In the News

The Miracle Teacher, Revisited

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I was about to move on to a new topic but on Sunday read a column in The New York Times by Nicholas Kristof titled "Our Greatest National Shame."...

In the News

Why Are People So Gullible About Miracle Cures in Education?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Teacher-bashing has become the motif of the day...

In the News

Unions Are Not the Problem

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I well remember when we first met...

Analysis and Commentary

How Caroline Kennedy can best serve the people of New York

by Diane Ravitchvia Daily News (NY)
Thursday, January 29, 2009

Over the past several weeks, New Yorkers have been re-introduced to Caroline Kennedy...

In the News

How Slash-and-Burn Promotes Unionism

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We got some good comments from readers who went to the trouble of reading the U.S. Department of Education document on how to turn around chronically low-performing schools...

In the News

What Do We Know About Improving Schools?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You are undoubtedly right that what we have been calling “reform” is not producing better educated young people...