Diane\'s Blog

Stacy Haines

Ms. Ravitch,

Thanks so much for coming to Tucson to deliver your message, which I enthusiastically endorse.

I teach English at a high school in Tucson’s poorest neighborhood. We scored so low on the state-mandated test a few years ago, that we were in danger of being “restructured.” In numerous in-services, we were essentially told to “teach to the test,” which we willingly did, because we love what we do.

Then, I was given an Honors class (Alexis Huicochea, the reporter who wrote ...

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Teresa Robinson

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

I just finished reading your interview in Principal magazine and felt compelled to send you a personal, heartfelt THANK YOU. Your closing sentence left me, an elementary principal, in tears; specifically, “Being an elementary school principal is one of the most demanding tasks in our society; it is not a job for amateurs.”

Can I tell you, that is the single most affirming statement I think I’ve ever read about my role as a principal. I’m a 31.5 year ...

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Gary Rubinstein

Dear Prof. Ravitch,

I’ve been a big fan of yours ever since I first read Left Back about ten years ago. I’m also a nineteen year teaching veteran and a disgruntled 1991 TFA alum. Like many people who have gone through TFAs training, I had a very rough first year. Fortunately I figured out how to be successful and kept teaching beyond my commitment. I’ve taught for thirteen of the past nineteen years and am currently a teacher at Stuyvesant High ...

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John Perella

Good Day Ms. Ravitch,

I am an assistant principal in Revere (a city five miles north of Boston) and I would like to thank you for giving me some hope. I have been working with my teachers on understanding the current landscape of public education. We often jigsaw and discuss your writings, they have inspired us all.

(A little bit about me) I am currently in the last year at the University of Massachusetts Boston in the Leadership in Urban Education Program. ...

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Anand Bhat

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I first heard about you from Democracy Now’s interview with you last year. I never got around to reading your new book, but last night I saw a somewhat disturbing presentation at a fundraiser. The fundraiser was put on by an Indian fraternity at Texas A&M. The fraternity was raising money in Houston for a village school in Gujarat state at the 11th and 12thrade level. This is called PUC (pre-university college) and is when kids essentially start ...

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Donnan Stoicovy

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

I would like to introduce myself to you and share a little about our school and me.

First of all, I would like thank you for all that you are doing to support educators and public education. Many of us have read your book. It is a fascinating read of all that is going on to undermine education. Your disclosure of your years realizing that the culture that has been nurtured by our politicians and the billionaire boys club ...

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Dr. Ora Watson

Dr. Ravitch,

Today, I listened to your lecture at Dillard University on the state or fate of public schools in the United States. Since I had the dubious distinction of being the Superintendent in New Orleans Public Schools immediately after Katrina, I was more than a little invested in your assessment of public education currently in New Orleans. Imagine how happy I was to finally hear your courageous evaluation of charter schools, testing and privatizing of public education to the detriment ...

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Parent Says “Enough Is Enough”

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I am hearing of more and more [district name omitted] public school teachers pulling their children out of [district omitted] and putting them in private schools. I am about ready to do the same. Our concern is that we are seeing our children’s education going very badly and getting worse.

Have you heard the same from around the country?

And you can use this anecdote, but please, please take off my name and my location! We will be in [omitted] ...

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Doug Swedberg

Hi,

I read your book The Death and Life…, and believe it to be the best writing on what’s wrong with education reform ever published. I’ve been teaching science for 28 years and have dealt with several “reform philosophies” that have only led to reduced educational results and the waste of money. (All have been the same philosophically with mainly a change in jargon to confuse us.)

Keep up the great work! How could I help? Are you planning on speaking in ...

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Virginia Teacher’s Story

I believe I am going through a change of mindset regarding education reform. A lot of it has to do with you.

I blindly followed Michelle Rhee’s call and moved from a comfortable job in the suburbs to one of the more highly politicized middle schools in D.C. I was excited and ready to work. I should have noticed something was up. The first week of meetings included all the responsibilities of the teacher. Administrators went though all these power points ...

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Peg Gage

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

As a retired teacher who has lived the process you have described in The Death and Life… you are the first sign of hope I have felt in a long time regarding the state of public education.

I taught for 34 years in a large high quality suburban Detroit school system. The district was well managed, had a rich variety of programs to offer students, high staff moral, and high graduation rates. A few of the schools received Title ...

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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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William Chenausky

Ms. Ravitch,

I am a new teacher at a Charter school, and have read your article entitled “The Myth of Charter Schools.” I was so overwhelmed about your position that I had to find your email and thank you very much for your hard work and truth.

America has the answers on how to improve our educational system, but we have to look at improving our society and communities. The model for the U.S. comes from the top-ranked nations in the world. ...

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Maggie Thornton

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

First of all, I hope that you are in the midst of a very happy holiday season with your family and friends. I am a preservice secondary English teacher at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. I received your new book for Christmas and I just wanted to thank you so much for writing it! I get so disheartened when people beat up on teachers for student performance without thinking about outside factors or how we ...

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Ron Hale

Diane Ravitch,

Good Day! I’m writing you because I have just finished reading your book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education. As a teacher entering my third year I found your text to be profoundly educational and entertaining. It was steeped in scholarship, but easily understood by those inside and outside the classroom. This should be required reading for anyone serious about the state of education in America. It was ...

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