Posts tagged "Diane Ravitch"
August 17, 2011
The accusation, levied by the philanthropist and hedge-fund manager Whitney Tilson recently, draws from a new book about the education reform movement by Steven Brill. But the suggestion that she was bought is simply not accurate, Ravitch told GothamSchools.
Brill, in an interview, also insisted it’s not the conclusion that his new book, “Class Warfare,” aims to draw.
In a short passage about Ravitch, one of the leading critics of the reform movement, Brill writes that she frequently spoke to teachers unions but did not disclose her speaking fees from them. He estimates that her take from groups that have resisted the movement, including teachers unions, might have exceeded $200,000 in just over a year.
In an interview this week, Ravitch told GothamSchools that she received “less than a third” of the amount of money Brill calculated from teachers unions. (That is, she has received under $67,000.) She said that the majority of her speaking engagements are done for free. (more…)
March 3, 2011
Education historian Diane Ravitch is appearing on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart tonight — and her supporters want to make sure she has company.
We just received an email from the New York City point person for the Save Our Schools March, meant to draw parents and teachers to Washington, D.C., this summer to assert their voices in education policy. She is asking Ravitch’s supporters to greet the outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s education agenda when Ravitch arrives at Stewart’s 11th Avenue studio at 4 p.m. today.
Ravitch will spend an hour and a half in online conversation with Save Our Schools supporters next week, according to the email.
If Stewart’s lampooning of those who criticize teachers for their job perks earlier this week is any indication, he could go easy on Ravitch tonight. The pair also found common ground when Ravitch appeared on “The Daily Show” in 2003 to discuss the strange taboos shaping standardized tests.
February 8, 2011
One of New York City’s most vocal parent activists is launching a national organization, enlisting parents in cities across the country in a fight against the Obama administration’s proposed changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Called Parents Across America, the group was developed jointly by Leonie Haimson, the executive director of Class Size Matters in New York, and Julie Woestehoff, of Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) in Chicago. Its formal launch was at a forum last night in a public school in Tribeca, where parents from as far as San Francisco and Seattle traveled to share their unfortunate experiences with local education laws and policies.
Parents Across America’s platform is against much of what Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has done, such as his competitive grant program Race to the Top, and the federal School Improvement Grants he’s given to states to turn around their lowest-performing schools. The organization also opposes Duncan’s blueprint for what he wants out of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s eventual reauthorization. (more…)
November 19, 2010
Though they are at times each others’ harshest critics, Chancellor Joel Klein and noted education historian Diane Ravitch proved last week that they can occasionally share a laugh.
Last week, Klein e-mailed Ravitch asking for the “latest draft op-ed.” The message was an accident — presumably Klein meant to send it to the Department of Education’s press secretary, whose name is quite similar. “That’s what they get for getting a PR person named R-a-v-i-t-z,” Ravitch said when she forwarded us the e-mail.
A humorous exchange followed. Read from the bottom up:
From: Diane Ravitch
Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 6:11 PM
To: Klein Joel I.
May God be with you
I was afraid for a second that I mistyped “luck”
October 29, 2010
Put the Department of Education’s Deputy Chancellor for Accountability Shael Polakow-Suransky in a room with Diane Ravitch, one of the city’s most outspoken critics, and you might reasonably expect sparks to fly.
But when NYU’s Wagner Education Policy Studies Association put them together on a panel earlier this week, where they agreed turned out to be notable.
The topic of the panel was how federal involvement shapes local education policy. (I moderated the panel; Evan Stone, the founder of Educators 4 Excellence, also spoke.)
Ravitch opened by sharply criticizing the move to hold teachers and schools accountable for their students’ scores on standardized tests. But when talk turned to how future standardized tests should be built, Ravitch and Suransky agreed with each other. Ravitch said:
I’m very supportive of the idea of developing new assessments, and I think it’s a very important thing. But it will take years.
Just as these common core standards were written in a little over a year — it took me three years working on the California history standards. I worked on history standards in other states, and it was never done in only a year. So I would like to think that it’s going to take a lot of time to do this well because anything that’s done hurriedly is not going to survive…. (more…)
October 6, 2010
And it looks like Ravitch’s publisher borrowed the cover art for her latest book from a novel published not too long ago — about a one-room schoolhouse. The two books side by side:
September 13, 2010
Last week, a Teach for America alumnus, one-time KIPP teacher, and Harlem charter school founder declared that he does not believe in education “reform” — at least as it’s currently imagined. That’s despite the fact that Marc Waxman, who has moved to Denver since founding the Future Leaders Institute, is on the verge of opening a second charter school.
In the piece, published by Education News Colorado, Waxman said that the education historian Diane Ravitch’s public change-of-heart — in her book “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” — moved him to make his own views public. He wrote:
It’s not that I agree with everything Ravitch says. It’s just that I felt like it was a courageous act on her part to write it. Frankly, it was inspiring and motivating.
Now, Diane Ravitch has responded to Waxman in a letter published in our Community section and on Education News Colorado. Read it here.
Also of note, from Ravitch’s stuffed speaking schedule, is news that she will address an audience of KIPP and Teach for America educators next month. Her calendar item:
October 14, 2010 (Houston): KIPP, Teach for America, and Rice Education Entrepreneurship Programs, Ley Student Center at Rice University, Grand Hall, 7:10–7:50 p.m. (open to the public).
March 2, 2010
Diane Ravitch offered a first look at her new book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” at a GothamSchools event in December where she explained that seeing education theories play out in reality caused her to change her mind about standardized testing, school choice, and the entire notion of “accountability.”
Today, the book officially hit shelves, after receiving a spate of favorable reviews in major newspapers. People who have been following Ravitch’s transformation in recent years will find much of her argument familiar. Still, her book offers those who are new to the story a 240-page primer on major trends in education policy — trends that Ravitch says are undermining the country’s once-great schools.
While the book contains Ravitch’s take on New York City’s recent education history — hint: she’s not positive — it is by no means solely about New York. Ravitch also weaves tales from San Diego and Washington, D.C, where activist superintendents have pushed aggressive changes, into a big picture about the general direction of American education. New Yorkers did play a special role in helping Ravitch prepare the book for publication: Diana Senechal, a city teacher who has contributed to GothamSchools, was her research assistant.
Visit the community section to read an exclusive excerpt from the book, in which Ravitch describes why her favorite high school teacher wouldn’t succeed in today’s data-driven teaching environment. Also, Queens teacher Arthur Goldstein, who received an advance copy, offers a glowing endorsement.
March 2, 2010
Education historian Diane Ravitch’s new book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” comes out this week. This exclusive excerpt is from Chapter 9, “What Would Mrs. Ratliff Do?”
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Ruby Ratliff. She is the teacher I remember best, the one who influenced me most, who taught me to (more…)
January 5, 2010
Students in nearly 50 charter schools across the city are outperforming their peers in district schools on state tests, according to a study by an education research group at Stanford University.
The report, which was done by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, known as CREDO, uses the same methodology the group used when looking at the performance of charter schools in several states across the country. Looking at 49 city charter schools from the 2003-04 to 2008-09 school years, CREDO matched data from about 20,000 students in grades 3-8 to an identical number of students with comparable scores at local competing district schools. Though the Department of Education asked CREDO to do the analysis, the foundation procured its own funding for it.
CREDO’s study of charter schools across the country offered a mixed picture — charter schools in some states did better than local schools, while others did worse — but New York City stands out as having a particularly successful crop of charter schools. (more…)