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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

What Good are Tests?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tests inevitably gauge a student’s fund of knowledge and experience, not just what was taught in school...

In the News

Right Answers, Wrong Answers

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I didn’t suggest that “good medical care” was “test-prepping.”...

In the News

IQ Testing in Historical Perspective

by Diane Ravitch with Education Nextvia Education Week
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

When I first read Murray and Herrnstein’s "The Bell Curve," I was unpersuaded...

In the News

Courtesy, Curriculum, and a New Topic

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I want to be first in line to shout "hosanna" to your call for courtesy...

In the News

What Finland's Example Proves

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Time to disagree...

Analysis and Commentary

The Delusion of Accountability

by Diane Ravitchvia Gotham Gazette
Monday, May 5, 2008

In the six years since Mayor Michael Bloomberg won control of the city's public schools, installed Joel Klein as chancellor and instituted sweeping changes, teachers, parents and other New Yorkers have differed sharply over the city's education policies and their effects on more than one million students...

In the News

Is Finland the Answer?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

As you know, Americans have a long history of looking to other countries for answers to our educational problems...

In the News

A Nation at Risk: Worth Reading Again

by Diane Ravitchvia Common Core
Monday, April 28, 2008

April 2008 marks the 25th anniversary of “A Nation at Risk,” the report on the condition of American education that continues to be controversial to this day...

In the News

What Should Happen in Our Houses of Learning?

by Diane Ravitchvia Education Week
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Well, we do disagree about what should happen in “our houses of learning.”...

Student Performance

A Flip-Flop Worth Having

by Diane Ravitchvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 18, 2008

Let the states improve the performance of our students—and let Washington measure it. By Diane Ravitch.