Archive for 'States'

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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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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Leia Schnarch


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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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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Melissa Merwin

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

Hello. My name is Melissa and I teach Language Arts at an alternative high school in central Minnesota.  I work “part time” (all that our financially strapped district can afford), but put in well over 50 hours a week and I’m paid about $24,000 a year, but I don’t do this for the money.  I am writing this letter to say thank you. I read a lot of your nationally published pieces about education and education reform. Thank you ...

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Philip Rhodes, MD

Dr. Ravitch,

Thank you so much for your voice of informed sanity in the midst of so much disastrous action to our children, schools and teachers.  The interview with Brill was too painful to watch.  His arrogant misinformed manner was too much.  I know you have to face this time and again.  I just want you to know that there are so many of us who admire and thank you for helping our teachers and schools to become better in a ...

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Martin A. Olszewski


My name is Martin Olszewski and I am a kindergarten teacher for a school district in Western Pennsylvania. This is my second career; I chose it. The 2011-2012 school will only be my 12th year teaching, but it may be my last.

The current course of public policy with regard to public education can only lead to the final demise of this institution and the profession I love. No one test score can possibly measure the true knowledge of a student ...

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Jamie Shell

I just finished reading The Death and Life of the Great American School System, and I sincerely want to thank you for writing this book.

I am 30 years old and about to start my eighth year as a public school teacher. I was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow (a program that is sadly on the chopping block right now due to budget) and honestly initially went into teaching because I knew I wanted to “do something with Spanish.” The Teaching ...

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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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