The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

The Diane Ravitch Live Conversation: The Death and Life of the Great American School System

On Tuesday, October 19, at 4pm EDT/ 1pm PST (Convert To Your Local Time Here), members of the EDU PLN Ning and participants of #Edchat joined Diane Ravitch in a live conversation about education transformation. Diane Ravitch agreed to take questions from members of the Ning. Tom Whitby, Shelly Terrell, and Kyle Pace moderated the 1 hour Elluminate session. 

(Image from

In case you missed the discussion:

Watch the edited 45min video,
Watch the live recording,
Read the transcript from Twitter,
Read the Elluminate Chat,

More about Diane:

Diane Ravitch, who recently wrote the article in The Daily Beast, Education Crisis: Testing and Firing Teachers Doesn’t Work, is a Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. In addition, she is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

She shares a blog called Bridging Differences with Deborah Meier, hosted by Education Week. Her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines.

From 1991 to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. She was responsible for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. As Assistant Secretary, she led the federal effort to promote the creation of voluntary state and national academic standards.

From 1997 to 2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal testing program. She was appointed by the Clinton administration’s Secretary of Education Richard Riley in 1997 and reappointed by him in 2001. From 1995 until 2005, she held the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution and edited Brookings Papers on Education Policy. Before entering government service, she was Adjunct Professor of History and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

She is the author of:
  • The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (2010)
  • Edspeak: A Glossary of Education Terms, Phrases, Buzzwords, and Jargon (2007)
  • The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (2003)
  • Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform (2000)
  • National Standards in American Education: A Citizen’s Guide (1995)
  • What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know? (with Chester Finn, Jr.) [1987]
  • The Schools We Deserve (1985)
  • The Troubled Crusade: American Education, 1945–1980 (1983)
  • The Revisionists Revised (1978)
  • The Great School Wars: New York City, 1805–1973 (1974) 
You can follow her on Twitter,

These real-time events are delivered using Elluminate complete with audio, chat and desktop sharing.

Elluminate is a Community Partner with Edublogs. To learn more about Elluminate check out either:

  1. Their recorded introduction
  2. The Quick Reference guide
  3. Join the Configuration Room to test your connection and configure your audio

Get your FREE 3-user Elluminate vRoom HERE!

Views: 292


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have a couple questions...

1) Our world is moving toward a model of collaborative learning environments and our kids are better at this than ever. How can we move the school system in the same direction? Instead of competition between states (RTTT), school districts (NCLB), teachers (merit pay), and charter vs. public schools, how can we start collaborating to truly pool our talents, knowledge, and resources?

2) How can we substantively include teacher and STUDENT voices in federal education policy, instead of as puppets and figureheads?

3) Do you have any updated information on the status of what is being called "Assessment 2.0?" This is such a critical component- the next generation of assessments and how they should be formative and authentic. How can we keep tabs of this process and keep our government accountable for actually getting it right?

Steve Johnson
Concord, NC
Has she apologized for pushing for NCLB, and does she believe public schools can "reprogram" young people? That is, what can public schools do when so many young people come from broken homes and broken communities? @peoplegogy
The standards often advocated by reformers in Washington call simply for more focus on core academic subjects that most people won't ever use in their lives (do you use calculus, the periodic table, or the wisdom of Beowulf in your life?!). Setting aside future scholars, students leave 12 or more years of formal education with a good deal of wasted time and effort learning 'stuff' they'll never use, while, shockingly, most don't know how to be full participants in their political communities and in the economy. By keeping students in disciplines designed by interested experts, we are wasting the opportunity to use 12 years to engage students in society doing modern real-world tasks and solving modern real-world problems that require the integrated (interdisciplinary) knowledge from a variety of modern fields. Here's my questions Diane, first, do you agree with my assessment above, and second, if so, do you have any hope that we can move toward a more modern conception of education? How?



Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Ruth Herman Wells posted an event

Portland OR Teacher Classroom Management Course at Courtyard by Marriott

October 8, 2020 to October 9, 2020
Management problems in the classroom ends here. This Teacher Classroom Management Course delivers hundreds of strategies for students who struggle with motivation, depression, work refusal, violence and more. Visit our website for more information, or via email ( or call toll-free to 1-800-545-5736See More
Kelly Leon posted blog posts
Kathy Huntley posted a blog post

Alcohol dependence

Alcohol dependence has become an epidemic in the 21st century. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2.45 % of men and 5.78% of women consume alcohol daily. Every year, alcohol misuse causes the deaths of 2.5 million people. The problem of alcoholism is getting commonsense, and that is scary. Almost everyone has an experience of dealing with people who suffer from alcohol misuse. The following research will show signs of the addiction and methods of its treatment…See More
Profile IconRachelle Fender, Kelly Leon, Rosie Del Tejo Williamson and 7 more joined The Educator's PLN
Thomas Whitby's 2 videos were featured
Thomas Whitby posted videos
Christine Hinkley posted an event

OLC Collaborate - Oregon at Oregon State University

February 7, 2020 all day
The Online Learning Consortium and partner institution Oregon State University invite you to engage in Vision 2030: Re-imagining the Future of Online Education. Join us as we explore our shared responsibility as educators to meet our diverse and changing student populations where they are, and to…See More
Nov 4
Lindsey Sise liked Lori Callister's group STEM Education
Oct 30

© 2019   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service