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March 28, 2011

Diane Ravitch to Critique Testing in Speech at CCNY April 6

 Diane Ravitch

Dr. Diane Ravitch, education historian and former assistant secretary of education, will speak at CCNY, April 6. Photo credit: Jack Miller

Dr. Diane Ravitch, education historian and assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush, will critique the role of testing and choice in education in an address 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, at The City College of New York.  Her speech is part of the Doyle and Alba Bortner Distinguished Speaker Series in Urban Education, which was begun in 2010.  The talk is free and open to the public and will take place in the College’s faculty dining room, located on the third floor of the North Academic Center.

Currently research professor of education at New York University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Dr. Ravitch will discuss “How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.” The topic is the focus of her latest book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education” (Basic Books, 2010).

Dr. Ravitch served as assistant secretary of education and counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander from 1991 to 1993 and was responsible for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement.  As assistant secretary, she led the federal effort to promote 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.  From 1995 until 2005, Dr. Ravitch held the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution and edited Brookings Papers on Education Policy.

Besides “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” she has written nine other books on education and edited 14 more.  Her awards and honors include election to the National Academy of Education, Society of American Historians, American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Eleanor Roosevelt Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences.

A native of Houston, she received a BA from Wellesley College in 1960 and a PhD in history from Columbia University in 1975.  Additional information about Dr. Ravitch can be found at: http://www.dianeravitch.com/vita.html.

The Doyle and Alba Bortner Distinguished Speaker Series in Urban Education is sponsored by the City College School of Education.  Professor Doyle Bortner, dean emeritus of the School of Education at CCNY, and his late wife, Alba, endowed the event.  He served as dean from 1966 to 1976.

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