Archive for 'Current K-12 Teachers'

Anonymous in Virginia

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I just wanted to briefly and personally thank you for your tireless efforts the last couple of years. Your appearance on National Public Radio discussing the impact of the No Child Left Behind legislation and how it is impacting schools and teachers is beginning to shift the tide. As you know, morale is at an all time low and many excellent educators are feeling overwhelmed by our lack of power and voice in this situation.

I could go on ...

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Tom in the Great Basin

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

I really enjoyed your book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. As a veteran teacher, I’m on the front lines and see clearly the consequences testing and corporate America have on our public school classrooms.

I teach 1st grade in a small rural school that is part of a very impoverished community. We have no PE, Art, or Music classes, and have narrowed our curriculum to focus almost ...

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Anonymous 22-Year Teacher

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

One of the most important book purchases I made several years ago was your book about the state of Public Education. You articulated so many ideas I have had about the destruction of our public school system. Today I happened to listen to Terry Gross’s interview with you, and once again you provided the most clear and concise “big picture” of what and how the system is being decimated.

I have been an accomplished public school teacher ...

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Anonymous Music Teacher

Hello Diane,

I just finished reading The Death and Life of the Great American School System. I want to thank you for putting into words all the frustrations I have barely been able to verbalize with what I see happening in my schools. As I swiftly get shoved to the side in the name of raising test scores, it’s refreshing to know that there are educated people out there who still think sanely! Your book was recommended to me by our ...

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Danielle Christensen

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

As a teacher (currently at home with my daughter), I have become an avid fan of your work and insights. My sister, a second grade teacher in Newton, Iowa (you may have heard of it from a recent 60 Minutes segment on the town that used to be the home of Maytag), periodically writes a blog for the Des Moines Register’s opinion pages. I check “Bridging Differences” each week, and after your recent posts, I couldn’t help but ...

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Jim Gregory

Diane:

After 11 years in Catholic education and 15 years in public education, the feds will slash my Social Security (I’m a double-dipper; 27 years of paying into Social Security, and that penalty means I won’t be able to have the barnacles scraped off the hull of my racing sloop in the Monaco Yacht Basin), and Californians want to slash my teacher’s pension.

And this on top of a year of Wisconsin, of teacher-bashing (“It’s not even a fulltime job!”), of Waiting ...

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Bill Mullarney

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

Thank you very much for being a voice of sanity in the madness that seems to be accelerating all around us. I have been at this for 27 years now, teaching and coaching, the last 22 in a rural district in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It has been hard to watch the effect the economic downturn has had on our district, and it’s been hard to put up with the rising wave of “reform” as ...

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Pittsburgh Teacher

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I wanted to take a moment to send a thank you for your wonderful book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. As a teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, a district that has bought into the philosophies of both Broad and Gates, I read your book with a sense of personal interest. Indeed, it seems that almost everything you wrote about San Diego and New York City are becoming fashionable in districts like mine. ...

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Visual Arts Teacher, Moved to Teach K

Ms. Ravitch,

I am a teacher in California. I was a visual arts teacher for many years until our district decided to pull the funding and now am teaching kindergarten. I just watched your speech to the AASA National Conference and it brought me to tears. Having someone put into words the frustration and demoralizing feelings we have as teachers in the working in the classroom day in and day out is so encouraging. I am thankful that you are willing ...

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Chris Hinze

Thank you for writing The Death and Life of the Great American School System. It is a compelling account of how the current reform efforts have damaged education. It is also a shining example of a scholarly, researched-based and integrative work that would not be the product of students coming out of the narrow, low-quality schools our choice and testing advocates envision.

These are two points you make so well, and must be understood before we can move forward:

1. There is ...

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Salvatore Balsamo

Ms. Ravitch,

Thank you for all of your hard work in exposing the myths of modern school reform. I am a history teacher at Eastside High School in Paterson, NJ. Monday will be my fifth anniversary there. We now have our third Superintendent, chosen by the state, in that time. Each year that I have been there we undergo a new and different school model, every year a new initiative different than the previous year. There is no continuity for students. ...

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Stacy Haines

Ms. Ravitch,

Thanks so much for coming to Tucson to deliver your message, which I enthusiastically endorse.

I teach English at a high school in Tucson’s poorest neighborhood. We scored so low on the state-mandated test a few years ago, that we were in danger of being “restructured.” In numerous in-services, we were essentially told to “teach to the test,” which we willingly did, because we love what we do.

Then, I was given an Honors class (Alexis Huicochea, the reporter who wrote ...

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Gary Rubinstein

Dear Prof. Ravitch,

I’ve been a big fan of yours ever since I first read Left Back about ten years ago. I’m also a nineteen year teaching veteran and a disgruntled 1991 TFA alum. Like many people who have gone through TFAs training, I had a very rough first year. Fortunately I figured out how to be successful and kept teaching beyond my commitment. I’ve taught for thirteen of the past nineteen years and am currently a teacher at Stuyvesant High ...

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Donnan Stoicovy

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

I would like to introduce myself to you and share a little about our school and me.

First of all, I would like thank you for all that you are doing to support educators and public education. Many of us have read your book. It is a fascinating read of all that is going on to undermine education. Your disclosure of your years realizing that the culture that has been nurtured by our politicians and the billionaire boys club ...

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Doug Swedberg

Hi,

I read your book The Death and Life…, and believe it to be the best writing on what’s wrong with education reform ever published. I’ve been teaching science for 28 years and have dealt with several “reform philosophies” that have only led to reduced educational results and the waste of money. (All have been the same philosophically with mainly a change in jargon to confuse us.)

Keep up the great work! How could I help? Are you planning on speaking in ...

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