Diane\'s Blog

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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Randall Postiglione

December 19, 2010

Ms. Ravitch,

I hope this email finds you and yours happy and healthy this holiday season. Thank you so much for your article, “The Myth of Charter Schools.” It was a welcome antidote to the Superman documentary that we viewed the night before. My wife and I were the only two in the theater and she had to keep me from leaving two or three times during its screening. It reminded me of Nazi Germany’s propaganda films ...

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Cynthia Walker

December 12, 2010

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

Thanks for your answers to Bill Gates.

Friday I came home from a tough week in my middle school classes: Intervention Reading where most kids are 3 to 6 years below grade level after years of Open Court and an ESL class comprised of students born here in the states or in Mexico or Central America — three different grades and three different learning levels in one class and textbooks filled with mandatory tests of ...

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J. M. Beach

Dr. Ravitch,

I wanted to write you a quick note. I read your new book this week. I couldn’t put it down.

I think it is one of the most important books on U.S. education to come out in some time. I applaud both the arguments that you make, but also the courage to re-evaluate your previous position of school choice and assessment. However, as you indicate in your book, I fear that it may be too late to stop the accountability ...

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Bill Powers

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

Please add me to your list of malcontents railing against what is laughably called education reform.

Every child is special needs. Every child is at-risk. Every child needs to be listened to and directed, guided and encouraged. Categories don’t work, nor do indexes, head counts(for funding purposes), or any of the myriad solutions people outside the framework of learning want to present.

I taught for 22 years in a small continuation high school and retired in June of this year. ...

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Teri Pinney

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I’m a former high school assistant principal who could no longer condone the unscrupulous tactics being used by the principal to push students and teachers into attaining higher test scores (in Florida, we have the FCAT). I ended up leaving the profession and writing a book about it myself: The Missing Heart in Education: Chronicles of an Educator.

I also ended up running for the local school board in this past election. Made it into the runoff out of ...

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Sharon Reed Bradley

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

I just read “Ravitch Answers Gates,” from a Newsweek piece. I was stunned to see that your every answer was in direct correlation with my sentiments regarding our school system and the current negative media onslaught. It is comforting to know that the real issues of educating our children have a voice. Every year we start behind more affluent schools as we struggle to get new immigrants to “meet standard” and stay in school. Teachers at ...

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Tracie L. Washington

November 30, 2010

Dr. Ravitch,

I was really disappointed that I could not see your presentation live when you were here in New Orleans at Dillard University. I thank Lance Hill for providing me with a copy of your speech, and I look forward to watching same. Lance sent me the excerpt, and I wanted to share my thoughts with you:

We’ve had really smart reporters, Jan Resseger being one, and even smarter parents and advocates who have commented on, beg, pleaded, marched, ...

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Tom Viviano

Hello Dr. Ravitch,

In the chance that you receive and read this I just wanted to thank you for writing your most recent book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. I hope all educational leaders read this and take it very seriously.

You and your book are well known in the Workforce Education and Development Program at Penn State University. I am a doctorate student there in this program and am using your book as a reference in ...

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Kevin Parker

November 22, 2010

To Diane Ravitch:

First I wanted to thank you for Death and Life…. As someone who has become enraged by nearly every article, editorial, and interview regarding education, your example has been uplifting. Your book and your voice have been clear, courageous, and consistent in support of true improvement (I am reluctant to use the word “reform”) to the public education system. Even after I correspond with journalists — sometimes heatedly, sometimes civilly — I still feel as though ...

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John Watkins

Professor Ravitch,

I’ve just read your piece in the NYRB re your charter schools and have felt obliged to respond — just about a first for me regarding anything concerning formalised education. At 75-plus and a 40-year career in UK secondary sector state education behind me, I was delighted to read such a relevant, perceptive and sharply focused critique.

Most academic contributions to the public/private debate this side of the pond show a woeful knowledge of the chalkface. We are currently contemplating, ...

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Terry Fingers

Diane,

I am still talking about the great speaker we had at the Missouri state conference (you). I want to thank you for the wonderful message. I am so inspired I have been sharing your website and message with everyone. You are so awesome.

Terry Fingers

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Eddie Lopez, Jr.

Hi Dr. Ravitch,

My name is Eduardo (Eddie) Lopez, Jr. and I just want to write to you for two reasons. Before I go into my reasons for emailing you, I want to tell you a little about me. I’m a second year teacher, currently in teaching in South Texas (where I’m originally from), but my first placement was with the School District of Philadelphia. By certification, I’m an English Language Arts and Reading teacher at the high school level, although ...

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Stanley D. Whelchel

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I read with great interest your article The State Of Public Education Today in the ISEA Communique, Oct. / Nov., 2010 – Vol. 47, No. 2. You summarized all of the problems in NCLB very well. NCLB has been a disaster for public education since its inception. If legislators, and school administrators want to see standardized test results improve then they have to put the pressure right directly where it belongs — on the shoulders of the students ...

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