U.S. Department of Education

Requiem for a Failed Education Policy: The Long Slow Death of No Child Left Behind
July 13, 2012

Eleven years ago, I moved to Washington, D.C. to work on education. The liberal think tank that hired me focused on state issues, so I had nothing to do with the project that was consuming D.C. wonks at the time: a once-a-decade reauthorization of the mammoth federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act that would become the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Toxic Combination
April 12, 2011

For years, teachers’ unions have claimed that education reformers are mounting a “war on teachers.” Now, in the Midwest and Republican-dominated states across the country, we are witnessing what a war on teachers really looks like.

The Fate of Education Reform In A Republican Congress Doesn't Look Good
September 15, 2010

Washington, D.C. might not be the only place where a change in elected officials could soon disrupt education reform. Education Week has an interview today with Congressman John Kline, who, if the GOP takes the House this November, would likely become the chairman of the education and labor committee. And it doesn’t sound like he’s on board with many of the Obama administration’s key reform initiatives. He doesn’t want to give the administration additional money to extend its hallmark Race to the Top competition: This is the U.S.

Is Education on the Wrong Track?
March 21, 2010

From: Nelson Smith To: Diane Ravitch Subject: Public charter schools are community schools, providing a model of success that we know can work. They deserve more credit than Ravitch gives them. I really like two things about your book: your willingness to revisit long-held assumptions--and to risk being labeled an “apostate” for it; and your call for a revitalized K-12 curriculum full of rich history and art and music. Brava on both counts. But alas, I come not to praise.

Is Education on the Wrong Track?
March 17, 2010

From: Diane Ravitch To: Kevin Carey Subject: We don't yet have all the answers for fixing American education, but we know current reforms aren't working. So why keep supporting them? I am gratified by the astonishing response to my book, including your appreciation of certain chapters. Yet I didn’t write The Death and Life of the Great American School System to win plaudits from you or anyone else. I wrote it because I had to. I did not intend to “repudiate my ideological fellow travelers,” as you say, but to explain as clearly as I could why I had changed my mind about certain strategies.

Boy Trouble
January 23, 2006

It's been a year since Harvard President Larry Summers uttered some unfortunate speculations about why so few women hold elite professorships in the sciences. During Summers's speech, a biologist, overwhelmed by the injustice of it all, nearly collapsed with what George F. Will unkindly described as the vapors. Since that odd January day, Summers has been rebuked with a faculty no-confidence vote, untold talk-show hosts have weighed in, and 936 stories about the controversy have appeared in newspapers and magazines (according to LexisNexis).