Diane Ravitch Offers a Critique of School-Reform Efforts

September 12, 2013 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd at Elmhurst College on September 10, Diane Ravitch offered a blistering critique of today’s school reform movement.

A historian of American education at New York University who served in the administration of the first President Bush, Ravitch spoke about the history and future of the American school system. Drawing on more than 40 years of research and experience, Ravitch critiqued today’s most popular ideas for “fixing” public schools—privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability for teachers and the charter school movement—and offered her prescription for improving them.

Ravitch’s lecture was part of Elmhurst College’s Education in Crisis lecture series, a yearlong look at the significant challenges facing American education. Other speakers in the series include veteran public school reformer Paul Vallas, scholar William Perez, and Pulitzer Prize–winning author and historian Taylor Branch.

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