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Left Back: A Century of Battles over School Reform Paperback – August 7, 2001


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Left Back: A Century of Battles over School  Reform + The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 7, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743203267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743203265
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Alan Wolfe The New Republic Left Back is the most important book written in many decades about America's most important public institution.

Gail Russell Chaddock The Christian Science Monitor Diane Ravitch's latest -- and best -- history of education reform in the United States...could help frame the education debate for the twenty-first century.

Joseph Adelson The Wall Street Journal Does much to convey what went wrong with the schools -- and what is still right about them.

Richard Rothstein The New York Times An important new book.

About the Author

Diane Ravitch is one of the nation's foremost historians of education and a leading education policy analyst. Her landmark books deeply influenced the national discussion of education standards in the 1980s and 1990s. She has been a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and at New York University. She served in the U.S. Department of Education as assistant secretary in charge of education research. She currently holds the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution, edits Brookings Papers on Education Policy, and is a member of the National Assessment Governing Board. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

More About the Author

Diane Ravitch

I was born in Houston, Texas, in 1938. I am third of eight children. I attended the public schools in Houston from kindergarten through high school (San Jacinto High School, 1956, yay!). I then went to Wellesley College, where I graduated in 1960.

Within weeks after graduation from Wellesley, I married. The early years of my marriage were devoted to raising my children. I had three sons: Joseph, Steven, and Michael. Steven died of leukemia in 1966. I now have four grandsons, Nico, Aidan, Elijah, and Asher.

I began working on my first book in the late 1960s. I also began graduate studies at Columbia University. My mentor was Lawrence A. Cremin, a great historian of education. The resulting book was a history of the New York City public schools, called "The Great School Wars," published in 1974. I received my Ph.D. in the history of American education in 1975. In 1977, I wrote "The Revisionists Revised." In 1983 came "The Troubled Crusade." In 1985, "The Schools We Deserve." In 1987, with my friend Checker Finn, "What Do Our 17-Year-Olds Know?" In 1991, "The American Reader." In 1995, "National Standards in American Education." In 2000, "Left Back." In 2003, "The Language Police." In 2006, "The English Reader," with my son Michael Ravitch. Also in 2006, "Edspeak." I have also edited several books with Joseph Viteritti.

My last book, "The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education," was a national bestseller. It addressed the most important education issues of our time. It was read by teachers, parents, and students and was a source of great joy to me.

My newest book "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools" is a call to arms. It documents the false narrative that has been used to attack American public education, and names names. It also contains specific and evidence-based recommendations about how we can improve our schools and our society.

To follow my ongoing work read my blog at dianeravitch.net, where there is a lively conversation among educators and parents about the future of education.

Diane Ravitch

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