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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

The Ayers Petition

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I expect we will both watch the last presidential debate...

In the News

Should We Risk a Free Market in Education?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Over the time that we have been blogging, we have found many issues on which we disagree—mostly having to do with externally set curriculum, standards, and tests—and many on which we agree—mostly having to do with autocratic school leadership and efforts to force a business model on the schools...

A Nation Still at Risk

by Diane Ravitchvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, October 12, 2008

Twenty-five years ago, there was a clarion call for better education. The clamor for school testing has drowned it out. By Diane Ravitch.

In the News

National Standards and the Moment

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, October 7, 2008

When Gov. Roy Romer spoke of national standards at our recent debate, I believe he was suggesting the development of national standards and testing on a voluntary basis, starting with about 15 governors working together to derive a common program...

In the News

The Business Model and Its Discontents

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You were a great partner in our debate last week in Washington, where the two of us—accustomed to differing—sparred with former governor of Colorado Roy Romer (who now chairs the group ED in ’08) and Jon Schnur (the founder of New Leaders for New Schools)...

In the News

The Dumbing Down of 'Accountability'

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I heard from a friend who attended the New York state Senate hearing where you testified...

In the News

The New Conventional Wisdom?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You raise important questions about the role of trust and community in schooling...

In the News

The Politics of Education Are Changing

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I read your “advice to the next president” with interest...

In the News

This Strange New Era of "Reform"

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Welcome back from vacation...

Analysis and Commentary


by Diane Ravitchvia New York Post
Monday, September 1, 2008

LAST week, Schools Chancel lor Joel Klein announced the start of a pilot program that will introduce a new way to teach reading to children in kindergarten, first grade and second grade in 10 low-performing schools...