You probably won't learn much you don't already know reading David Denby's profile of Diane Ravitch but this article from the most recent New Yorker (Love on the March) about the evolution of the gay rights movement and gay culture includes some useful reminders and insights in there for anyone interested in education:
1) Things can change a LOT in 20 years. Twenty years ago, gay marriage and gays in the military were discussed but somewhat hard to imagine, and now they're here. This can be true for education, too -- for better or worse.
2) Gay advocates disagreed vehemently over whether to focus on gays in the military and gay marriage -- and some still do. The education movement writ large is full of similar divisions -- as have been the environmental, labor, civil rights, and repro rights movements.
3) There are generational and stylistic differences in the gay rights movement, with the views and priorities and strategies preferred by one group seeming to be anachronistic or ineffective to the next group. Ditto education.
4) Setbacks, pushback, regression -- whatever you want to call them -- have marked the long history of the gay rights movement, and will likely (already has?) marked the school reform effort.