Archive for 'States'

Jody Mason Westbrook

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

This weekend, I met with a group called The Star Learners. We have been meeting twice a year for 20 years. We choose a topic to study, and take turns planning and facilitating the learning design for our gatherings. Most, but not all, of us are educational professionals, primarily in the discipline of Professional Development. We have several authors in our midst and are a passionate and committed group.

Our topic this past weekend was “Creating a Vivid Future ...

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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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Paul R. Nevergold

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

Keep up the fight. Yours is one of the few rational voices heard in education today.

In a recent interview, you stated the crux of the problem with NCLB. Instead of using tests as a diagnostic tool, they are using test results as a club to bash whomever.

I’m 70 and work in an after school program in Buffalo NY. It is PS18 on our far west side and populated predominantly by Hispanics, Karen from Myanmar, Somalis and other refugees. ...

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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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Harold A Treinen

Diane,

Your book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, is so true, and you did a great job writing it.

I’m focused on family, career as a 30 year Sr Accountant/Financial Analyst/Audit, and social justice, being very active in several social justice organizations like MoveOn.org, DFA, OFA, PDA, Bold Progressives, etc, and being a progressive Catholic.

I do a lot of reading, believe in supporting a just and vibrant government doing what it should, and connected with about 10 ...

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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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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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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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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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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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Bruce Mergele

Dr. Ravitch,

I listened to your interview on “To the Best of our Knowledge” today. I’d like to get a copy of your book and read it so that I might better respond to you and possibly help.

I am currently an underemployed librarian. Four years ago, I was laid off from Harcourt Assessments. For most of my six years as the Corporate Librarian and Archivist, I was working solo. You’d have thought that a company so firmly rooted in research and ...

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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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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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