Archive for 'States'

Steven Lin

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I wrote to you in 2010 about my immediate thoughts after reading your book The Death and the Life of the Great American School System. I won’t repeat them here, but suffice it to say that your book is the only book I have ever read, where upon finishing, I was compelled to capture my reflections immediately on the inside cover.

Over the last three years, I have returned to those handwritten reflections to remind me of the ...

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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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Jamie Duong

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I remember watching the passage of No Child Left Behind and thinking that it was a terrible idea, the product of an ignorant President and his anti-union backers, and it saddened me to no end to see old education stalwarts like Senator Kennedy join onto the new President’s initiative. I suppose it was a mix of good will for the newPresident, as well as optimism at what the bill would accomplish that allowed those like the late ...

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Genevieve Szafran

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I just finished reading an article about you and wanted to thank you for speaking up for teachers! Yes, most of us are weary of the public disdain for our profession.

I have been a special educator for over thirty years, and my profession has changed drastically. We special educators now find ourselves inundated with responsibilities other than teaching. Our days are filled with assessing our students, writing reports, and writing lengthy IEPs. We attend professional development workshops that ...

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Rebekah Ghormley

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

I can’t thank you enough for all the work you do on behalf of the education in this country.

My question is this. How do we work to get your message more broadly heard and understood? How is it that creatures like Michelle Rhee, with her minimal, failed experience, seem to grow in prominence and influence?

I read today that the National Council on Teacher Quality is suing University of Wisconsin regents over their refusal to turn over ...

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Amy Smith


Let me tell you, I am a passionate teacher and I am so fired up about our current state of education- the current state of our country really. First I want to say that I was truly inspired by your article in the Saturday evening post because I was finally able to read something about education, and teachers in particular, that was right on! I am so often disappointed by what people assume and say about teachers, ...

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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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Mary Mills

Prof. Ravitch,

Your book reads like a novel for me, and I concur totally with every point you make about NCLB. I am a retired New Jersey public school teacher. From my experience, I have come to realize that there are innumerable variables that influence student performance, and while the business approach might be fine for the production of things, it does not work with students.

NCLB tends to box in student creativity rather than encouraging students to think ...

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A Hoosier Educator

Dear Dr. Ravitch:

I read your book The Death and Life two years ago. At that time I didn’t realize the storm gathering around public education, but afterwards I finally understood why things were starting to get “loony” in my school building.

For me as a teacher, the last two years have been thoroughly unpleasant, especially with an anti-union governor and an anti-teacher State School Superintendent (I heard the Superintendent speak twice).

I cannot add any more eloquent words than my colleagues have ...

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Stacy Maxin

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

Thank you for giving me hope as an educator at a time when I have been very disheartened with the direction of education in the U.S.  I had the wonderful opportunity to see you speak at the NCSS Conference in Washington, D.C. on December 2, and walked away feeling that an expert in education finally “gets it”.  Last year, I reluctantly read your book The Death and Life of the Great American School System as it was selected ...

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Peggy Pastor

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I just finished reading your latest book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, and I not only enjoyed the historical perspective on how we came to our present state but also found myself nodding my head at your description of the consequences to today’s schools.

I have been in both private and public schools and have been, among other things, a building principal for a total of over 20 years. I presently am principal of ...

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Anonymous L.A. Teacher

Hi Diane,

I teach math at an inner city high school in LAUSD. This is a second career for me, and I am in my 8th year as a teacher. My original training is in the field of management. I have an MBA in finance from UC Berkeley, and Ph.D. in management, (specializes in organizational behavior) from UCLA’s Anderson school. That background gives me a perspective that is somewhat different than most teacher, as well as ...

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Corky Osborn

Hi Ms. Ravitch,

I would like to thank you for your insights and research on the subject of education in this country. In my opinion you’ve hit the nail squarely on its head.

My wife, a middle school language arts, and foreign cultures educator in Michigan, has taken your ideas and theory to her administration, where it’s been received by them with overwhelming support. However as you well know “the system” has educators and administrators so handcuffed that they are simply becoming ...

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Anonymous California History Teacher

Ms. Ravitch,
I heard your speech at the NCSS conference today. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your words and thoughts as well as your perseverance and fortitude.
I’m a middle school history teacher in California. I had teaching for over twenty years at a “persistently under-performing school” that had to undergo the “turnaround” model. Consequently, I was one of the half of the staff that had to be moved out of the school at the end of last ...
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Nancy Huizar-Hurtado

Hello Dr. Ravitch,

I simply wanted to commend you for speaking out in favor of teaching a broad curriculum and making it known the detrimental effects it has had on the quality of education we give out students. I am currently a Continuation high school science teacher  and as a result of extreme budget cuts we don’t have a budget for science experiments.  Since it is my responsibility to give my students a fair representation about what science really entails I ...

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