Archive for 'New York'

Jamie Duong

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I remember watching the passage of No Child Left Behind and thinking that it was a terrible idea, the product of an ignorant President and his anti-union backers, and it saddened me to no end to see old education stalwarts like Senator Kennedy join onto the new President’s initiative. I suppose it was a mix of good will for the newPresident, as well as optimism at what the bill would accomplish that allowed those like the late ...

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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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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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A Jaded “Reformer”

Professor Ravitch,

I finally read The Death and Life of the Great American School System.  It’s rare that I find myself agreeing with almost everything in a book — thank you for such an important work.

I spent several years working as a Program Officer at New Visions for Public Schools.  I joined NVPS inspired by what appeared to be a substantive movement for progressive change in our schools. I had attended a small public high school myself, and felt it was important ...

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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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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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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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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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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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