Old-fashioned alt-academic careers: Diane Ravitch

Take an alternative route from academic training, acquire elder-statecraft status, say what you want, get written up. That’s pretty much what happened to Diane Ravitch, as told either by Dana Goldstein or Kevin Carey this year.1 I’ve written about Ravitch’s scholarship, but I think it’s important to note that her career after the Ph.D. is now what key figures in the American Historical Association are trying to legitimize: graduate students not only should have Plan B, but graduate programs in history should be careful to make non-professorial jobs “Plan B.” Plenty of recent doctorates in history and related fields are happily ignoring the lousy job market in the field. Time for the rest of us to get some postgraduate realism.

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  1. See the responses to Carey’s recent piece by Goldstein and Mike Petrilli. I don’t know the extent to which Goldstein is right that sexism played the majority part in Ravitch’s marginalization from academically-housed historians of education, but I’ve wondered the same thing. []