A Bush administration official who led and then changed her mind on federal education reform will speak at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, in Page Auditorium on the Duke University campus.
Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She has written 10 books on education, most recently last year’s “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.”
From 1991 to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. In that position, her website says, she led the federal effort to promote the creation of voluntary state and national academic standards.
From 1997 to 2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal testing program.
“As No Child Left Behind's (NCLB) accountability regime took over the nation's schools under President George W. Bush and more and more charter schools were launched, I supported these initiatives,” Ravitch wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “But over time, I became disillusioned with the strategies that once seemed so promising. I no longer believe that either approach will produce the quantum improvement in American education that we all hope for.
"On our present course, we are disrupting communities, dumbing down our schools, giving students false reports of their progress, and creating a private sector that will undermine public education without improving it. Most significantly, we are not producing a generation of students who are more knowledgeable, and better prepared for the responsibilities of citizenship. That is why I changed my mind about the current direction of school reform.”
Ravitch's appearance is presented by Durham Public Schools and the Duke University Program in Education. Tickets for the Page Auditorium talk are free, but must be obtained in advance. They are available on-line at tickets.duke.edu, by calling 919-684-4444.