Dr. Diane Ravitch, controversial former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, will speak at Baylor University on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. in Waco Hall. Ravitch was originally scheduled to lecture at Baylor in January, but winter weather prevented her from traveling to Waco.
Her appearance is part of the Academy for Leader Development Lecture Series and the School of Education Distinguished Lecture Series. The lecture will be free and open to the public, with no tickets or reservations required.
Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. In her role at the Department of Education in the 1990s, Ravitch led federal efforts to promote standardized testing, teacher accountability and school choice. But in 2010, she abandoned those ideas and now decries the rampant testing culture and legislation including No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.
“She is such a dynamic speaker,” said Jennie Massey, Assistant Dean for Student Learning and Engagement at Baylor. “People will leave all riled up. She is the most exciting speaker we have ever brought to campus through these lecture series.”
Dr. Jon Engelhardt, dean of the Baylor School of Education, said, “In addition to being a respected and credentialed academic expert on K-12 education policy, Diane Ravitch is one of the most recognized and vocal proponents for public education in the country.” He described her as an important “provocateur” and a mainstay in the national conversation on education.
In 2014, Politico magazine named Ravitch among 50 people influencing policy in Washington. Politico said, “Ravitch today is a staunch defender of teachers and their right to organize against what she calls the ‘privatization’ of our school system by ‘people who make false promises,’ ‘drain students and funding away from public schools’ and ‘blame teachers for conditions beyond their control.’”
Massey said that Ravitch will take questions from the audience and sign copies of her books after the lecture. Her latest book is Reign of Error: the Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools.
Massey said Ravitch’s lecture will include tips for concerned citizens about what they can do to improve public education locally.
“She will tell people what they can do to make a difference on this issue,” Massey said. “People can feel paralyzed by such a big issue.”
Ravitch blogs at dianeravitch.net, a site which has had nearly 8.3 million views in less than a year.
Additional sponsors for the lecture are the Baylor Division of Student Life, the University Lecture Committee and the Campus Diversity Committee.
Media contact: Meg Cullar, Director of Communications, Baylor School of Education (254) 710-6435 • firstname.lastname@example.org