Prominent education historian to deliver lecture at Clark, Dec. 1

Diane speaks at the NEA Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly, New Orleans, July 6, 2010. Photo by Kevin Lock/NEA.

Diane speaks at the NEA Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly, New Orleans, where she received the Friend of Education Award, July 6, 2010. Photo by Kevin Lock/NEA.

One of the nation’s pre-eminent critics of high stakes testing, historian and author Diane Ravitch, will deliver the inaugural Dr. Lee Gurel ’48 Lecture at Clark University, “How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education,” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, in Tilton Hall at the Higgins University Center.  Ravitch will talk about where the movement to reform American education has gone wrong, and share her thoughts on where she thinks K-12 education should be heading.

Ravitch is a research professor at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.  She served as Assistant Secretary of Education in the administration of President George H.W. Bush.  A former supporter of market-like incentives to improve the quality of America’s education system, Ravitch has recently emerged as one of the leading critics of high stakes testing and data-driven accountability systems for evaluating teachers.  She is the author of “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” (Basic Books 2010), a book the Boston Globe calls “a fiercely argued manifesto against fads in education reform and for public schools, and the teachers and students who inhabit them.”  Copies of her book will be available at the lecture.

Ravitch’s lecture is the first to receive funding from the Endowed Education Fund, established at Clark University by Lee Gurel ’48 in 2009.  Gurel gave $500,000 to Clark for the purpose of "sharing the secret" of the University’s model of effective urban education.  Part of Gurel’s gift, The Lee Gurel ’48 Speakers Fund, is set aside to fund opportunities for high-level discussions and workshops on issues pertaining to education.

This talk is sponsored by Clark’s Hiatt Center for Urban Education and The Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise.  For more information, please contact Lisa Coakley at 508-421-3872 or