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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

Analysis and Commentary

New school flunks unity test: Hebrew-language charter should not have been approved

by Diane Ravitchvia Daily News (NY)
Sunday, January 18, 2009

I am deeply impressed by the philanthropy of financial whiz Michael Steinhardt, but totally baffled by the decision of the New York State Board of Regents to approve his proposal to open a publicly funded Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Brooklyn...

In the News

A Good Word or Two About Schools

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I acknowledge that I have been influenced in my thinking by my frequent exchanges with you...

In the News

Colleges & Remedial Education

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year to you and to our readers. 2009 is shaping up to be an important year for American education...

Analysis and Commentary

Clairborne Pell's Legacy

by Diane Ravitchvia Forbes
Monday, January 5, 2009

Former Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island left quite a legacy when he died on Jan. 1 at the age of 90...

Analysis and Commentary

Britain's Language Police

by Diane Ravitchvia Forbes
Saturday, December 27, 2008

Five years ago, I published The Language Police, to warn about the ways in which political correctness was imposing blatant censorship on textbooks and tests...

In the News

Who Are the Real Reformers?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Now we know that President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Arne Duncan as his secretary of education...

Analysis and Commentary

American Children Left Behind

by Diane Ravitchvia Forbes
Thursday, December 11, 2008

The 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) was released on Tuesday, and it contained both good news and bad news for the U.S...

In the News

Is Democratic Governance the Problem?

by Diane Ravitch with John E. Chubb, Terry M. Moevia Education Week
Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You quote John Goodlad, who asks “Whatever became of the idea that representative democracy is the essential starting point for public education?”...

In the News

What Do We Mean by Accountability?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I wish, as you suggested, that we could have some influence on the national debate...

Analysis and Commentary

Why Lou Gerstner Is Wrong

by Diane Ravitchvia Forbes
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Louis V. Gerstner Jr. has some daring ideas about how to change American education...