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Forgetting the Questions
The Problem of Educational Reform
A Long History in Education
Ms. Ravitch’s biography.
Has Education Reform Improved?
“One important difference is that so much of the past agenda of
educational reformers has been largely fulfilled. In one sense,
the educational enterprise is the victim of its own successes,
since new problems have arisen from the long-sought solutions
to earlier problems.” (Ravitch, 1985, p. 97)
Some changes to Ms. Ravitch’s thoughts on
education reform can be found in this opinion piece
published in The Wall Street Journal.
Ravitch on NYC Schools
Ms. Ravitch’s thoughts on the future of NYC
schools and what’s to come…
What do you think about the
mayor’s control over the
incredibly vast NYC school
Ravitch the Romantic?
“The curriculum should be designed so that every student has the fullest
opportunity to develop his powers, intelligence, interest, talent, and
understanding. Every student needs to know how to form and articulate his
own opinions… Every student, to understand the world in which he will be
a participant, should be knowledgeable about history, should master some
other language as well as his own, should discover the pleasure of
literature, especially its power to reach across time and cultures and to
awaken our sense of universality…” (Ravitch, 1985, p. 104)
Is this realistic?
Does the public even want this?
The Language Police: How Pressure Groups
Restrict What Students Learn (2003)
In 2003, Ms. Ravitch published the above-named book in which she
decries political correctness in education, including textbooks.
Here is a detailed NPR interview is available for your listening
pleasure, and a goofier video from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
describe her frustrations on this topic.
Do you think that there are exceptions to
some of the censorship limits, like perhaps
More on Ms. Ravitch’s
change of heart on
and how they affect
students, schools and
More on No Child Left Behind:
She was for it before she was against it
"Former 'No Child Left Behind' Advocate Turns Critic”
NPR Audio Interview
As someone who was the member of the National Assessment Governing
Board (NAGB, the group that oversees the federal testing program), and
involved in education for so long, how was it that Ms. Ravitch was not
prepared to see the flaws of NCLB?
Should we absolve Diane Ravitch of her earlier decisions?
Inskeep, S. (2010, March 02). Former 'no child left behind' advocate turns critic. Retrieved from
McLeod, S. (2010, July 25). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://bigthink.com/ideas/should-we-absolve-diane-ravitch-of-her-earlier-
National Assessment Governing Board. (n.d.). Overview. Retrieved from http://www.nagb.org/who-we-are/overview.html
Ravitch, D. (n.d.). About Diane. Retrieved from http://dianeravitch.com/about-diane/
Ravitch, D. (1985). The schools we deserve. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Ravitch, D. (2003, April 28). Interview by T Gross [Web Based Recording]. Listen: Fresh air from whyy., Retrieved from
Ravitch, D. (2009, March 09). Why I changed my mind about school reform. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from
Ravitch, D. (2009, June 27). The future of public education in NYC: What next?. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from
Ravitch, D. (2011, July 14). Interview by T Grossman [Web Based Recording]. Ravitch: Standardized testing undermines teaching., Retrieved
Ravitch, D. (2011, July 15). Interview by S Inskeep [Web Based Recording]. Former 'no child left behind' advocate turns critic., Retrieved from
Stewart, J. (Performer) (2003). Diane Ravitch [Television series episode]. New York, NY: Comedy Central. Retrieved from