Diane Silvers Ravitch '60

Alumnae Achievement Awards 1989

Diane Silvers Ravitch '60

Diane Ravitch, an editor of over 40 books and the author of over 400 articles and reviews for scholarly publications, graduated from Wellesley with a degree in political science. She began her career as an editorial assistant for the New Leader magazine, a journal dedicated to democratic ideas. She obtained her Ph.D. in the history of American education from the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1975.

Ravich has lectured on democracy and civic education throughout the world, and she has written several books and articles about the history of education in America. Her first published book was her dissertation, “The Great School Wars: New York City, 1805-1973.” In 1986, she was awarded the Henry Moe Prize in the humanities from the American Philosophical Society. She was also designated an “honorary citizen of California” for her contributions to the state’s history and human rights curricula.

In 1991, Ravitch joined the Bush administration as an assistant secretary for educational research and improvement and as a counselor to the U.S. Department of Education. In that role, she led federal efforts to create state and national academic standards. From 1995 to 2005, she held the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution, and from 1997 to 2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board.

In 2005, Ravitch was awarded the John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education by the United Federation of Teachers for her efforts “to make a difference in the lives of New York City school children.”

Currently, Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University, and she is a senior fellow at both the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.


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