Archive for 'States'

Jason Manviller

Hello Dr. Ravitch,

I stayed up later than I normally do to finish your book — I actually couldn’t put it down it was so compelling and through certain chapters found myself saying “uh-huh, yes, exactly, and that’s what my district does/is heading towards!”

Thank you so much for saying what many of us feel in education. We find ourselves looking around the room at staff meetings, bewildered, when we are presented with the onslaught of ill-conceived reforms, quick fixes, ...

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Thirty-Eight Year Veteran Teacher

If this gets to Diane Ravitch, I just want to say, “Thank YOU!”

I read The Death and Life of the Great American School System early in 2010, which prompted me to purchase additional copies for others and become an apostle of the rational word. The message has sustained me as I deal with the absurdities of sanctions and the disasters of reorganization in the time of Race to the Top.

Yippee, I’m from Tennessee and work in Nashville Metro Schools! We ...

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Al Janulaw

Dr. Ravitch,

Just heard your interview with Michael Krasney. I spent three decades teaching in California public schools and now I teach the science methods course in the multi-subject teaching credential program at Sonoma State University. It tears my heart out to spend time encouraging young pre-teachers to teach conceptual understanding through discovery while being fully cognizant of the reality they will encounter if/when they become employed.

But, what I really want to say is that I so appreciate your clear expression ...

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Florida Math Teacher

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

You don’t know me; aside from this e-mail, I’m sure you never will. I am a high school math teacher in central Florida. I teach at a public school, and have just finished my 24th year here.

I’m writing to thank you for trying to be a voice of reason in what feels like the war against public education. A couple of months ago a former student of mine who worked for a couple of congressmen and is now ...

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Misty in New Hampshire

Hello Dr. Ravitch,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your hard work in trying to educate the public about the damage we are doing to children through our obsessive reliance on standardized testing. I am a middle school social studies teacher in my 11th year, and I am currently working on my second research paper about why this testing is the wrong investment in our educational system. My first paper was written as my in graduate ...

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Rob Bligh

Prof. Ravitch,

Congratulations and thanks. I just found “Waiting for a School Miracle.”  What a gem! Over the course of the last few years, I have read a great deal about the educational tragedy of children living immersed in poverty and America’s irrational response to that tragedy. Nothing I have read (indeed, nothing I have written) beats “Waiting for a School Miracle.”

Several decades ago my father offered me a piece of wisdom that might be useful in this situation: ...

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E in LA

Dear Dr. Ravitch:

I am writing to express my gratitude for the truths you revealed in your Op-Ed piece in today’s New York Times. There is much heat surrounding the public debates on education reform, and it is refreshing to read an article by someone willing to shed some light on the issue.

I am a public high school teacher in Los Angeles. I spent five years at what is commonly deemed to be a model charter, and I routinely speak with ...

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Sam Smithwick


Thank you so much, once more, for such a powerful article! My wife and I are relocating from southern Maine to Mississippi as educators. While much of our move is driven by the times we find ourselves in, we are both very passionate about the work that we do and how we will be “tested” in Mississippi. We are putting our hearts where our mouths are!

You touched on adult education. I am recently questioning the “colonial” mind set that perpetuates ...

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Donna Anuskiewicz

Again you’ve hit the mark. Years and years ago, I served as a parent representative on a district wide strategic planning committee, and test scores were a topic. A principal bragged about the pressure she put on her teachers to bring up scores. As I teacher I told her that if she threatened people’s jobs, their salaries, they’d see that the scores improved; they’d cheat. She didn’t believe me.

The people of whom you write including our President are deluded into ...

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Priscilla Lightbourne

Ms. Ravitch,

I read your op-ed piece in the Times with genuine excitement. With rare exceptions (Bob Herbert and Joe Nocera come immediately to mind) you don’t hear the education conversation focusing on families.

I lived in Portland, Oregon and have taught in Title One schools my entire career. Three years ago I moved to Baltimore to teach for Baltimore City schools. I wanted to see what life is like for an inner city school teacher. Portland has poverty and there is ...

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David T.

As it is a Friday afternoon, late in the year, late in my career, I will not be nearly as eloquent as those whose letters have been posted on your website (a terrific idea, by the way).

To put the upcoming comment in context, I should note that I have been married to the woman of my dreams for 27 years, but I want you to know this: I LOVE YOU. Sure, you have heard it from countless teachers already, but ...

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Pacific Northwest Physician

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

I am a family practice physician in the Pacific Northwest. A few weeks ago I was driving home from the annual meeting of the Independent Physicians Association and I heard a rebroadcast of your interview on Oregon Public Broadcasting. The meeting was nothing more than a big “Rah-Rah!” session for healthcare reform which is a topic that makes a lot of us uneasy, and as I listened to your interview I found myself thinking, “My ...

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Amberly Hurst

Dear Ms. Ravitch,

My name is Amberly and I’m a second semester college student at Brigham Young University-Idaho studying music education. As part of my education philosophy class I was asked to research and present about you and your education philosophies. I have delved into your blog entries and articles for the Huffington Post and I’ve been so impressed and appreciative of all that I’ve learned. I think that you have the right ideas about education and what is really happening ...

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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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Judith Mays

Dear Dr. Ravitch,

Your book was an eye-opener! I am only a lay person in education. I spent years volunteering in my children’s Washington, DC public schools and I was marginally involved with educational issues in a 20-year career at the University of Maryland; plus I taught a few college courses. I am in a second career helping manage the business side of a publishing venture but when I have time I am determined to do something to make an ...

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