Archive for 'California'

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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Amy Smith

Diane:

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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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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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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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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Jason Manviller

Hello Dr. Ravitch,

I stayed up later than I normally do to finish your book — I actually couldn’t put it down it was so compelling and through certain chapters found myself saying “uh-huh, yes, exactly, and that’s what my district does/is heading towards!”

Thank you so much for saying what many of us feel in education. We find ourselves looking around the room at staff meetings, bewildered, when we are presented with the onslaught of ill-conceived reforms, quick fixes, ...

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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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E in LA

Dear Dr. Ravitch:

I am writing to express my gratitude for the truths you revealed in your Op-Ed piece in today’s New York Times. There is much heat surrounding the public debates on education reform, and it is refreshing to read an article by someone willing to shed some light on the issue.

I am a public high school teacher in Los Angeles. I spent five years at what is commonly deemed to be a model charter, and I routinely speak with ...

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Kerry Lozito

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

I have taught high school math and science in the small rural town of Bishop, CA since 1984. I consider myself dedicated and philosophical, and I’ve seen many trends in education come and go. I heard your interview with Terry Gross on NPR and then bought your book The Death and Life, intrigued because our school was smack in the middle of standardized testing. This evening I had the chance to start reading.

This is the quote ...

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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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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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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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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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