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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

Good Intentions, Ignorant Elites, and Scoundrels

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We live in a dangerous and dark time for schools...

Analysis and Commentary

Bill Gates And His Silver Bullet

by Diane Ravitchvia Forbes
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back in 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had a big idea about how to fix the problems of American education...

In the News

Why the Secretary of Education Matters More Now Than Ever

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back in the old days (i.e., pre-NCLB), it really didn't matter to teachers, principals, and superintendents—that is, the people who actually work directly in schools and have daily interaction with children—who was Secretary of Education...

In the News

A Few Reflections on the Elections

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I have the advantage of writing you after the election...

Analysis and Commentary

The Obama Education Agenda

by Diane Ravitchvia Forbes
Monday, November 10, 2008

During the campaign, Barack Obama pledged that, if elected, he would make "a truly historic commitment to education."...

In the News

“I am for Governor Hunt”

by Diane Ravitchvia Flypaper (Fordham Education Blog)
Monday, November 10, 2008

Out there in the world of big media, the speculation is centering on who will land the big jobs at State, Defense, and the Treasury...

In the News

Descending Into the Pits of Rote Learning

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, November 4, 2008

You and I have advocated for different approaches over the years, though they are not contradictory...

In the News

After the Election, What Will Happen to NCLB?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

As this election nears a close, it is sad to note that very little has been said about education...

In the News

What Can Educators Learn from Business?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I loved your last column...

Analysis and Commentary

We Shouldn't Pay Kids To Learn

by Diane Ravitchvia Forbes
Friday, October 17, 2008

In India, students compete for admission into cram schools, where they study intensively in order to compete for admission into India's highly regarded technology colleges...