he Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn,
written by Hoover distinguished visitingfellow Diane Ravitch, was named by the Hoover Institution asthe winner of its 2004 Uncommon Book Award.The award was announced by Hoover Institution director John Raisian on September 8 during a meeting of the KoretTask Force on K–12 Education, of which Ravitch is also amember.In
The Language Police
(Alfred A. Knopf, 2003), Ravitchmaintains that America’s students are compelled to readinsipid texts that have been censored and bowdlerized, issuedby publishers who willingly cut controversial material fromtheir books—a case of the bland leading the bland.
The Language Police
is the first full-scale exposé of this cul-tural and educational scandal written by a leading historian.It documents the existence of an elaborate and well-estab-lished protocol of beneficent censorship, quietly endorsed andimplemented by test makers and textbook publishers, states,and the federal government. Ravitch offers a powerful politi-cal and economic analysis of the causes of censorship. Herpractical and sensible solutions for ending it will improve thequality of books for students as well as liberating publishers,state boards of education, and schools from the grip of pres-suregroups.Information about the book is available at www.language-police.com and at www.randomhouse.com/knopf/catalog/ display.pperl?isbn=9780375414824.Ravitch is a historian of edu-cation and research professor of education at New York Univer-sity. In addition to her distin-guished visiting fellowship andmembership in the Koret TaskForce at Hoover, she is a non-resident senior fellow at theBrookings Institution in Wash-ington, D.C. She was assistantsecretary in charge of researchin the U.S. Department of Edu-cation in the administration of President George H. W. Bush and was appointed to the Na-tional Assessment Governing Board by President Bill Clinton.The author of seven previous books on education, includingthe critically acclaimed
Left Back: A Centuryof Battles overSchool Reform
,she lives in Brooklyn, New York.The W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell Un-common Book Award is presented annually to an author affil-iated with the Hoover Institution whose work is selected by apanel of Hoover fellows. The award is given for a publishedbook or other significant work on a public policy issue that,in the panel’s determination, meets the highest standards of scholarship at the Hoover Institution.The $10,000 honorarium that accompanies the UncommonBook Awardis underwritten by a gift from Hoover Institutionsenior fellow Rita Ricardo-Campbell and the late directoremeritus Glenn Campbell. The award recognizes the work of aHoover fellow, or other person associated with the Institu-tion, whose writing and research reaches the highest standardsof scholarship on public policy issues.
he Breukelein Institute in New York has named Hooverdistinguished visiting fellow Diane Ravitch a recipient of its 2005 Gaudium Award.The awards are given annually to four men and womenwhose lives have “illumined the horizon of human experi-ence” through their extraordinary vocations in the arts andpublic service. The awards will be presented on November 7in New York City.The word
is Latin for joy, which is what, thefoundation notes, the recipients have shared with the workthey do.Ravitch is a member of the Hoover Institution’s Koret TaskForce and research professor of education at New York Uni-versity. Ravitch also holds the Brown Chair in EducationPolicy at the Brookings Institution. From 1991 to 1993 shewas assistant secretary of education in the administration of President George H.W.Bush. Among the eight books she hasauthored, her most recent titles include
The LanguagePolice: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn
Left Back: A Century of Battles over School Reform
(2000).Other recipients of the award, established in 1982, includeauthor,historian, and jazz musician Dave Brubeck; authorand historian Thomas Cahill; NotreDame University presi-dent Rev. Theodore Hesburgh; producer Joseph Papp;author Walker Percy; and Nobel laureate Isaac BashevisSinger.The Breukelein Institute is a not-for profit, nonreligiousentity established by the members of the Pontifical Congre-gation of St. Philip Neri in Brooklyn, New York, to raisemoney and originate programs and activities to affirm,improve, and reform the quality of life in the city of NewYork, particularly in Kings County.