09/07/2010 11:10 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Education Reforms And Why They've Failed: New York Review On 'The Death And Life Of The Great American School System'

Diane Ravitch is without rival as a historian of modern American schooling. She has written trenchantly about the history of New York City schools, and in "The Troubled Crusade (1983) about the progressivist takeover of the nation's schools after World War II. Her 2003 book "The Language Police" described ongoing attempts by publishers to sell their textbooks to all ideological factions by insisting on bland language in them. Her major work, "Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms" (2000), is considered by many to be the best study of the subject.

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