Diane Ravitch was just selected as the 2011 recipient of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize, created by the American Academy of Political and Social Science to honor those individuals whose careers in the academic or public arena have been dedicated to the use of social science research to improve public policy. The $20,000 prize was awarded in recognition of her long career of distinguished work on urban education as a researcher and public official.
Ravitch is a true public intellectual, someone who is fully engaged and committed towards ensuring that local, state, and federal education policy is informed by history, social science research and good sense. She has also passionately advocated for the parent and teacher voice to be recognized in the national debate over education reform. I can't think of anyone else in the field of public