She also mentioned that teachers will be marching on Washington, D.C., to get their voices heard July 28-30.

“These aren’t the bad teachers, the ones who don’t care. These are the ones who truly want to help their students and know that basing performance just on test scores, and firing the people who really care about their students’ lives, isn’t going to help,” she said.

As Ravitch concluded, and hundreds of superintendents and school board members gave her a standing ovation, it’s hard not to compare her with another seemingly demur, yet extremely influential woman from the past:

“So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!” —Abraham Lincoln, upon meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe.