Diane\'s Blog

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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Anonymous Music Teacher

Hello Diane,

I just finished reading The Death and Life of the Great American School System. I want to thank you for putting into words all the frustrations I have barely been able to verbalize with what I see happening in my schools. As I swiftly get shoved to the side in the name of raising test scores, it’s refreshing to know that there are educated people out there who still think sanely! Your book was recommended to me by our ...

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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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Chris Hinze

Thank you for writing The Death and Life of the Great American School System. It is a compelling account of how the current reform efforts have damaged education. It is also a shining example of a scholarly, researched-based and integrative work that would not be the product of students coming out of the narrow, low-quality schools our choice and testing advocates envision.

These are two points you make so well, and must be understood before we can move forward:

1. There is ...

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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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Susan B. Tripi

Your recent editorial piece makes some great points. Let’s assume that collective bargaining will be a thing of the past for teachers. The next logical question would be, what should teachers be thinking about to advocate for that will help them remain successful without the union umbrella. Other industries have survived without unions and are well paid and well treated. The difference with teachers is that so many things impact their students’ performance that are out of their ...

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Bryan Stevens

The Governor [of Wisconsin] is just going to pass the bill and everyone will take it like good surfs and will have to go home because they are poor and can’t afford to stay and protest.

They sure were not protesting while everyone’s jobs in the private sector have been been outsourced the last ten years. Only when their little pocket books and rights are going to be stolen do they get motivated.

Once the bill passes it is just the first ...

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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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