Tyack was the Vida Jack professor of schooling emeritus and a professor of history emeritus at Stanford University, where he had taught given that 1968. A passionate advocate of the civil purposes of schools, he documented shifting political allegiances in training in books together with the 1974 The 1 Greatest Program: A History of American Urban Training, the 1995 Tinkering Toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform (co-authored with Larry Cuban), plus the 2007 Trying to find Popular Ground: Public Colleges in a Various Society.
He was also a regular essayist on education and public policy, like for Education Week. In a single Commentary, Tyack and his partner, the late Stanford political science lecturer Elisabeth Hansot, argued:
"Is education largely a shopper very good or possibly a frequent fantastic? If Thomas Jefferson, Horace Mann, or John Dewey have been now to enter policy discussions on public schooling, he could nicely inquire if Americans have misplaced their way. Democracy is about building sensible collective possibilities. Democracy in training and education in democracy will not be quaint legacies from a distant and happier time. They've got by no means been far more necessary to smart self-rule than these are these days."
Before coming to Stanford, Tyack taught on the University of Illinois from 1967-69 and Reed School from 1959-67. He also previously served being a president with the History Training Society, a vice president in the American Educational Research Association, and was a member of several other training and historical past groups.
Within a tribute with the Finding out about the Edge website, Jack Schneider, the director of investigate for your Massachusetts Consortium for Revolutionary Education Assessment, described how Tyack informally mentored him being a graduate pupil at Stanford:
"Because we had been not in class, there was by no means an explicit lesson; but since David was a teacher-in the fullest, and truest sense with the word-the lessons accrued after a while. As David absorbed me into his orbit, I started to assume of myself differently-not as an accomplished novice but being a novice professional. ... This is certainly what a teacher does. It is a sort of alchemy. The student's potential self is conjured, as if by magic spell, and given substance via a whole new set of habits, abilities, and dispositions."
Tyack died at his household about the Stanford campus from issues of Parkinson's illness, in accordance to Daniel Schwartz, the dean of the Stanford Graduate College of Education. He is survived by his sons Daniel Tyack and Peter Tyack.