Letters to Diane

Anonymous L.A. Teacher

Hi Diane,

I teach math at an inner city high school in LAUSD. This is a second career for me, and I am in my 8th year as a teacher. My original training is in the field of management. I have an MBA in finance from UC Berkeley, and Ph.D. in management, (specializes in organizational behavior) from UCLA’s Anderson school. That background gives me a perspective that is somewhat different than most teacher, as well as ...

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Corky Osborn

Hi Ms. Ravitch,

I would like to thank you for your insights and research on the subject of education in this country. In my opinion you’ve hit the nail squarely on its head.

My wife, a middle school language arts, and foreign cultures educator in Michigan, has taken your ideas and theory to her administration, where it’s been received by them with overwhelming support. However as you well know “the system” has educators and administrators so handcuffed that they are simply becoming ...

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Anonymous California History Teacher

Ms. Ravitch,
I heard your speech at the NCSS conference today. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your words and thoughts as well as your perseverance and fortitude.
I’m a middle school history teacher in California. I had teaching for over twenty years at a “persistently under-performing school” that had to undergo the “turnaround” model. Consequently, I was one of the half of the staff that had to be moved out of the school at the end of last ...
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Anonymous Teacher, Former Finance Professional

Dear Dr. Ravitch –

I downloaded the pieces you embedded in your blog the other day, and read with horror, but not surprise, Lee Fang’s “How Online Learning Companies Bought America’s Schools.”  I say I read without surprise, because as a former corporate finance person, I remember well how the large investment banking firms would produce so-called “educational” seminars which really peddled new investment arms (derivatives) and mortgage-backed securities as a means of securitizing loans, etc.  What began as a seemingly ...

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Nancy Huizar-Hurtado

Hello Dr. Ravitch,

I simply wanted to commend you for speaking out in favor of teaching a broad curriculum and making it known the detrimental effects it has had on the quality of education we give out students. I am currently a Continuation high school science teacher  and as a result of extreme budget cuts we don’t have a budget for science experiments.  Since it is my responsibility to give my students a fair representation about what science really entails I ...

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Anonymous (Colorado)

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

Your book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, is the single best book on the subject that I’ve ever read. I work in education in Colorado.  Before my current position, I ran a school-based neighborhood center at an inner city school in southwest Denver that was subsequently closed and turned into a KIPP charter school.

What I am trying to say is that your book gave reason and logic to the way I’ve been feeling ...

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Anonymous

Hi Diane,

I’m sure you get thousands of emails a day, but here’s one more.

I’m not sure if you have addressed the following issues, but in my internet searches, I’ve not been able to see that anyone has spoken to these particular problems in our public schools.

1. Classroom teachers are the only teachers held accountable for test scores. The school in which I teach has many other teachers: ELL, Title 1, special ed resource, as well as support personnel for speech. ...

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Leia Schnarch

Diane:

I just reviewed the excerpt of when you were on CNN this morning. I am going to buy your current book. I am an elementary teacher living in Durango, Co and teaching just over the state border in Aztec, NM. I was quite taken with what you had to say about education today. Of course, I have my own story to tel. My husband and I were actually talking about being able to go visit ...

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Roger Sledd

Dr. Ravitch:

You are the most sane, rational, competent voice I have heard for education.  I hope you will continue to speak out at the national level on these very important issues effecting our country. Over testing with multi-choice questions has dire consequences that we are just beginning to understand. Speak loud and often and hopefully people will begin to hear. Thank you for your efforts.

Roger Sledd

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Mollie McGeehon

Hi Dr. Ravitch,

I teach special ed pre-k and my job is a gift to me. I love every moment of learning and growing with my students. I am fortunate to be in a grant funded grad program with UF right now and that is my joy. What much of the discussion misses is that teachers love learning. It is very difficult to afford higher education on 41k.

Thank you for being my own personal cheerleader. Like most teachers, I ...

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Mia Anderson

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

Thank you so much for fighting the good fight for the sake of education.  I’m a 32 year teacher in San Antonio, Texas, and a fellow alumna of Teachers College.  I have been teaching for the past 7 years, starting off in New York, then in Dayton, OH, and now in San Antonio.  Since the beginning I have felt/seen the injustice in the education system, and have never met anyone who feels, or who has felt, as passionately ...

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Michael P. Klimetz

Dear Professor Ravitch,

This past September was the beginning of my seventeenth year of teaching science at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn. Since the school had been on the New York State Department of Education’s Persistently Low Achieving list for the past few years, it has been selected by the New York City Department of Education to receive remediation assistance in the form of a “Restart”. This method of remediation had been touted as the least invasive and disruptive among ...

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Las Vegas Teacher

I’m sure you get a lot of mail, but I felt like I had to reach out to you because you may be the only person (outside of my fellow teachers) who would understand my frustration. I’m an English teacher at an inner-city turnaround high school in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our school district is famous for being the worst in the country – so they say – and my school is one of the worst schools. Last year, 50% of ...

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Marty Walker

Dear Mrs. Ravitch,
It is after midnight, and I am tired from the day’s activities, but I just had to write to you after reading your wonderful insightful article in the Dallas Morning News‘ Points section of Sunday’s paper. Please permit me to introduce myself: I am Mrs. Marty Walker, a 40-year classroom English teacher. I retired in 2004 after 32 years of teaching high school English–mostly English IV and AP English IV. I was department chair for almost 20 years. ...
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Alice S. Gottlieb

Dr. Ravitch,

I want you to know that my district is engaged in a community read of The Death and Life of the Great American School System. Last spring, one of our union officers approached me with a proposal to celebrate our good work, under the specter of state assessments and APPR regulations, through a read of your text. I bought 300 copies for our teachers, administrators, and board members, and on November 21, we will break into small Socratic seminars.

Thank ...

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