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2011: Diane Ravitch

American Politics and Policy

Diane Ravitch
Research Professor of Education at New York University
October 4, 2011

The crowd of Furman students and faculty, local community members, and school administrators from across South Carolina who gathered at Younts on October 4, 2011, was quite impressed with what they heard from Dr. Diane Ravitch. So much so that they gave her a standing ovation as she finished her remarks. Passion for quality public education runs deep, and Dr. Ravitch’s plea for building up our public schools rather than tearing them down, respecting and rewarding teachers who are highly educated and well-prepared to teach, and regarding teachers as creative, caring professionals rather than reducing them to robots “teaching to a test” was very well-received. These sentiments are the basis of her highly acclaimed book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.

Dr. Ravitch – former assistant secretary of education under President George H. W. Bush and a leader in the drive to create a national curriculum--repudiated positions that she once staunchly advocated in a refreshingly frank way.  It was enlightening to hear her speak of the pitfalls of popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, the proliferation of charter schools, and the drive to use a “business model” approach to improve schools.  Her thought-provoking lecture gave the audience much to contemplate as America struggles with what is best for the future of public schools. 

About Diane

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 1991 to 1993, she was assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander under President George H. W. Bush. President Clinton appointed her to the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees federal testing. She is the author or editor of more than 20 books, including The Language Police and Left Back, and her articles have appeared in numerous newspaper and magazines.

Press Coverage

Furman University News Release

This event was made possible through the support of these sponsors:
SCASA & Colonial Life; Childs & Halligan, P.A.; Furman Department of Education; Public Education Partners