The George T. Hunter Lecture Series will open its 2012-2013 series with Diane Ravitch on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Roland Hayes Auditorium on the UTC Campus.
Dr. Ravitch, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and a research professor at New York University, is nationally acclaimed for her expertise on the past and present American education system. Her best-selling book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education, draws on a range of research to critique some of today’s most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability and charter schools.
This event is sponsored by the Benwood Foundation, in partnership with UTC and the Public Education Foundation. The lecture is free and open to the public with doors opening at 6 p.m.
"One of the things that is so compelling about Dr. Ravitch is that she openly admits that she has reversed her views on public education reform over time,” says Corinne Allen, executive director of the Benwood Foundation. “We’re looking forward to continuing the dialogue about creating the best public education system here in Hamilton County. Our goal is to initiate discussion about big ideas within our community and this is a great opportunity to hear another view on education reform from an important national voice in public education. “
Last year, Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of DC Schools, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and a research professor at New York University, is nationally acclaimed for her expertise on the past and present American education system, participated in the Hunter Lecture Series. Dr. Ravitch and Ms. Rhee famously have opposing views and often debate publicly within the media. Ms. Rhee is a proponent of teacher accountability who pushes for high-stakes testing and firing underperforming teachers. Dr. Ravitch, who once advocated for testing, has changed her views, insisting that social conditions are the foundation for poor academic results and maintains that teachers need to stop being scapegoated for poor academic results.
From 1991 to 1993, Dr. Ravitch was Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H.W. Bush where she was responsible for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. As Assistant Secretary, she led the federal effort to promote the creation of voluntary state and national academic standards.
Dr. Ravitch is a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute and she shares a blog called Bridging Differences with Deborah Meier, hosted by Education Week, in addition to blogging for the Huffington Post. For a full biography, visit: http://www.dianeravitch.com/vita.html
Now in it’s 5th year, The George T. Hunter Lecture Series is sponsored by the Benwood Foundation and UTC. The lecture series has provided a meaningful way for UTC students and faculty to engage around issues affecting the Chattanooga region. Over the past four years, speakers have included two Pulitzer Prize Winners, two Peabody Award Winners, two MacArthur Genius Fellows, four listed on the TIME 100 Most Influential People, and have collectively authored 12 best-selling books. Past speakers have included Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Brooks, Malcolm Gladwell, Mayor Cory Booker, Michelle Rhee and Michael Pollan.
All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.benwood.org.