Diane Ravitch is a historian of education. She grew up in Houston, Texas, and graduated from Houston public schools. She earned her BA at Wellesley College in 1960 and her Ph.D. In the history of American education at Columbia University. She was in the faculty of Teachers College, Columbia University, until 1991, when she was appointed Assistant Secretary of Education for research in the administration of President George H.W. Bush.
She was appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board by President Bill Clinton in 1998 and served until 2007.
She was a member of the faculty of the School of Education at New York University from 1994-2020.
She has written many books about American education, starting with a history of the New York City public schools, The Great School Wars.
Two of her many books were national best-sellers: The Death and Life of the Great American School System (2010) and Reign of Error (2013).
She co-founded and is President of the Network for Public Education, a national organization that seeks to preserve and improve public schools that serve all children.