Archive for 'Retired K-12 Teachers'

Renee Agatsuma

Ms. Ravitch:

Thank you so much for being one of the “lone voices” in the media in regards to Education and teachers. I wanted to write you because I wanted to share my store with you – I am a National Board Certified teacher in Science. I actually left education last year and am now back in science – I will be getting my PhD in Public Health Genetics. I miss teaching, though I still am able to teach undergraduates. I ...

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Marsha Mulroney

Dr. Ravitch,

I appreciated your opinions in your books (which I have read and shared) and your conversation on NPR this afternoon.

I walked out of my classroom last March 9, after 19 years of teacher and National Board Certification because my principal decided I needed to learn how to teach to the test. After 2 years of his harassment, I finally quit. He told me emphatically that I was NOT allowed to read a chapter book to the children because it ...

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Wendy Beck

Thank you, Ms. Ravitch, for speaking to teachers’ and students’ needs and against the political scapegoating of teachers. (I heard you on Michael Krasny’s Forum show this morning on KQED in San Francisco.)

I just retired and I must admit, aside from the ceaseless hours I spent reading/editing/grading papers and planning lessons, it was the public discourse and lack of respect that did me in.

I taught in “bad” and “good” schools. When I was in the “bad” school, the staff ...

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Marty Walker

Dear Mrs. Ravitch,
It is after midnight, and I am tired from the day’s activities, but I just had to write to you after reading your wonderful insightful article in the Dallas Morning News‘ Points section of Sunday’s paper. Please permit me to introduce myself: I am Mrs. Marty Walker, a 40-year classroom English teacher. I retired in 2004 after 32 years of teaching high school English–mostly English IV and AP English IV. I was department chair for almost 20 years. ...
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Al Janulaw

Dr. Ravitch,

Just heard your interview with Michael Krasney. I spent three decades teaching in California public schools and now I teach the science methods course in the multi-subject teaching credential program at Sonoma State University. It tears my heart out to spend time encouraging young pre-teachers to teach conceptual understanding through discovery while being fully cognizant of the reality they will encounter if/when they become employed.

But, what I really want to say is that I so appreciate your clear expression ...

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Donna Anuskiewicz

Again you’ve hit the mark. Years and years ago, I served as a parent representative on a district wide strategic planning committee, and test scores were a topic. A principal bragged about the pressure she put on her teachers to bring up scores. As I teacher I told her that if she threatened people’s jobs, their salaries, they’d see that the scores improved; they’d cheat. She didn’t believe me.

The people of whom you write including our President are deluded into ...

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Dick Sinay

Dr. Ravitch,

I read with great delight your recent book The Death and Life of the Great American School System. I learned a great deal and found the insights about the American school system to be incredible. In short, I loved the book, but at the same time, I am quite disturbed about what is going on with the attack on the public school system.

My kids went to public schools in Irvine, CA. One then graduated form UC Santa Barbara and ...

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Tom McKinne

Ms. Ravitch,

Perhaps I am jumping the gun here (I have not yet finished your book) but I want you to know that as a teacher, retired, of 34 years I truly appreciate your efforts to get a message out there. Your book is much needed. I taught Earth and Space Science to freshmen at Warwick High School, Lititz PA. I enjoyed nearly every (but not every) day very much.

In my mind perhaps one of the most important things we can ...

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Eliot Scher

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

It is with great interest that I read your article today on the CNN website, “Why America’s Teachers Are Enraged.”

To paraphrase a famous gentleman, America’s public schools are, indeed, the last best hope of mankind. I have been both fortunate to have been a teacher for many years and unfortunate enough to witness the manner in which our society has chosen to label teachers as the scapegoats for America’s ills.

I taught high school and college for ...

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Peg Gage

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

As a retired teacher who has lived the process you have described in The Death and Life… you are the first sign of hope I have felt in a long time regarding the state of public education.

I taught for 34 years in a large high quality suburban Detroit school system. The district was well managed, had a rich variety of programs to offer students, high staff moral, and high graduation rates. A few of the schools received Title ...

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Adam Bessie

Prof. Ravitch,

I am a community college English professor and a former public high school teacher, and want to thank you for latest book, which is a life raft amidst the recession of good will towards educators.

I have been writing on education for a few years, and your book gave me renewed vigor — and confidence — in fighting publicly for the institution I have proudly devoted my life to.

Please find, below, an essay I published which is in ...

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Bill Powers

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

Please add me to your list of malcontents railing against what is laughably called education reform.

Every child is special needs. Every child is at-risk. Every child needs to be listened to and directed, guided and encouraged. Categories don’t work, nor do indexes, head counts(for funding purposes), or any of the myriad solutions people outside the framework of learning want to present.

I taught for 22 years in a small continuation high school and retired in June of this year. ...

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John Watkins

Professor Ravitch,

I’ve just read your piece in the NYRB re your charter schools and have felt obliged to respond — just about a first for me regarding anything concerning formalised education. At 75-plus and a 40-year career in UK secondary sector state education behind me, I was delighted to read such a relevant, perceptive and sharply focused critique.

Most academic contributions to the public/private debate this side of the pond show a woeful knowledge of the chalkface. We are currently contemplating, ...

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Stanley D. Whelchel

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I read with great interest your article The State Of Public Education Today in the ISEA Communique, Oct. / Nov., 2010 – Vol. 47, No. 2. You summarized all of the problems in NCLB very well. NCLB has been a disaster for public education since its inception. If legislators, and school administrators want to see standardized test results improve then they have to put the pressure right directly where it belongs — on the shoulders of the students ...

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