Diane\'s Blog

Sam Smithwick

Diane,

Thank you so much, once more, for such a powerful article! My wife and I are relocating from southern Maine to Mississippi as educators. While much of our move is driven by the times we find ourselves in, we are both very passionate about the work that we do and how we will be “tested” in Mississippi. We are putting our hearts where our mouths are!

You touched on adult education. I am recently questioning the “colonial” mind set that perpetuates ...

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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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Priscilla Lightbourne

Ms. Ravitch,

I read your op-ed piece in the Times with genuine excitement. With rare exceptions (Bob Herbert and Joe Nocera come immediately to mind) you don’t hear the education conversation focusing on families.

I lived in Portland, Oregon and have taught in Title One schools my entire career. Three years ago I moved to Baltimore to teach for Baltimore City schools. I wanted to see what life is like for an inner city school teacher. Portland has poverty and there is ...

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David T.

As it is a Friday afternoon, late in the year, late in my career, I will not be nearly as eloquent as those whose letters have been posted on your website (a terrific idea, by the way).

To put the upcoming comment in context, I should note that I have been married to the woman of my dreams for 27 years, but I want you to know this: I LOVE YOU. Sure, you have heard it from countless teachers already, but ...

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Pacific Northwest Physician

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I am a family practice physician in the Pacific Northwest. A few weeks ago I was driving home from the annual meeting of the Independent Physicians Association and I heard a rebroadcast of your interview on Oregon Public Broadcasting. The meeting was nothing more than a big “Rah-Rah!” session for healthcare reform which is a topic that makes a lot of us uneasy, and as I listened to your interview I found myself thinking, “My ...

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Amberly Hurst

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

My name is Amberly and I’m a second semester college student at Brigham Young University-Idaho studying music education. As part of my education philosophy class I was asked to research and present about you and your education philosophies. I have delved into your blog entries and articles for the Huffington Post and I’ve been so impressed and appreciative of all that I’ve learned. I think that you have the right ideas about education and what is really happening ...

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Scott Schneider

Dr. Ravitch:

I am a high school teacher in North Rockland, a district just about 30 minutes North of Manhattan. Our district has been financially beleaguered recently by many things, not the least of which is the advent of the testing movement. It is a rare moment when I turn inward and find hope that I have chosen – and must stay true to – the right path for myself.

Yesterday, I graded the 8th grade ELA’s with my colleagues. A friend ...

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Judith Mays

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

Your book was an eye-opener! I am only a lay person in education. I spent years volunteering in my children’s Washington, DC public schools and I was marginally involved with educational issues in a 20-year career at the University of Maryland; plus I taught a few college courses. I am in a second career helping manage the business side of a publishing venture but when I have time I am determined to do something to make an ...

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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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Amanda Sheaffer

Ms. Ravitch,

A few months ago I watched you on The Daily Show and subsequently bought your book. I felt validated and empowered by your words as our assessment season in Tennessee quickly approached.

So often I have felt as though classroom teachers have no voice in the education conversation, but in the weeks following your appearance on The Daily Show, I felt a sense of urgency. I wrote a short piece that was actually published by Edweek’s Teacher.

I want ...

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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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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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