While there are many across the country battling for the survival of public education and speaking out about much of the profit-driven notions being promoted by non-educators, none stands so tall as Dr. Diane Ravitch in NYC.
A distinguished education historian who grew up in Houston, she rose to become an assistant Secretary of Education under the first President Bush. But not long after this stint, her bubble began to burst and she came to realize that much of what she and others were touting as the road to the promised land for education was anything but.
She wrote The Death and Life of the Great American School System, How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education in 2010. It quickly became a best-seller. As did Reign of Error, the Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools, published in 2013.
One of the first books I read after I became interested in public education was The Life and Death. Page after page has underlined passages. Somewhere along the way we swapped emails.
Then I learned she was speaking one night in Dallas. And being a sometimes impulsive sort, I jumped in my old car and headed west. I found the venue and took a seat in an auditorium that could hold several hundred people. I spotted Diane behind the stage and walked up and introduced myself. She was surprised to see me and when she started her remarks, introduced me to the crowd.
Some time after this she came to Montgomery to speak to a meeting of the School Superintendents of Alabama. I had the pleasure of picking her up at the airport and showing her some of Montgomery’s historical sights
When she created the Network for Public Education I was honored she asked me to serve on the board.
Then in April 2012 she took to the blogosphere so that she could spread her reach even more. I visit this site often as it is a great place to get a national perspective on what is taking place.
She announced today that she is taking a well-served break from blogging and will be back on Jan. 4, 2016. During the 32 months she has been on-line she has had an incredible 24.6 million views–that’s about 25,000 PER DAY. She is only 24.5 million ahead of me. But then, she did have a three-year head start. 🙂