November 23, 2010
Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education at New York
University, changed the topic of her lecture this week as she
prepared for St. John’s Carol Gresser Forum, which took place last
night at the University’s Queens campus. The new topic changed from
her original "Issues in Education" slant and became a more focused
speech on "Advice for Cathie Black" – tabbed as the next New York
City Public School Chancellor by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The event, sponsored by the St. John’s School of Education, took
place before an enthusiastic crowd of more than 300 in the school’s
D’Angelo Center Multi-Purpose Room.
"We have the nation’s leading educational historian in our midst
tonight. We’re here to shed light on issues in Education not create
heat," said Jerrold Ross, Dean of St. John’s School of Education,
in his welcome prior to Dr. Ravitch’s lecture.
Dr. Ravitch geared her remarks toward the problems that lie
ahead for New York Public Schools in the immediate future, and took
questions from the crowd of students, local educators,
administrators and community members at the end of her lecture.
"The current system (in the NYC Public Schools) has not been
successful these last few years putting so much emphasis on testing
with millions of dollars being spent with complete focus and
strategy in this area," said Dr. Ravitch. "It’s not about funding.
It’s about what your strategies are, what your vision is and what
your belief in education is. We need to give these students the
help they need so that they have a chance to succeed."
Dr. Ravitch is a noted author of numerous educational tomes. Her
most recent book is "The Death and Life of the Great American
School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education."
From 1991-93, Dr. Ravitch was Assistant Secretary of Education and
Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the
administration of President George H.W. Bush. 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 state and national
The School of Education at St. John’s University established the
Carol Gresser Forum in 1998. Held twice a year, the forum is named
for the former President of the New York City Board of Education
and Queens resident, who now serves as a professor of education at
St. John’s University.
Ms. Gresser has participated in every forum the past 12 years
and was on hand for the festivities last night, introducing her
friend and colleague Dr. Diane Ravitch as "a premier educator and
historian in the United States and beyond."
Dr. Ravitch’s most recent credentials include being a member of
the National Assessment Governing Board from 1997 to 2004;
appointed by Secretary of Education Richard Riley in 1997 and
reappointed in 2001. From 1995 until 2005, she held the Brown Chair
in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution (currently
serving as senior fellow) in Washington, D.C. as and edited
Brookings Papers on Education Policy. Before entering government
service, she was Adjunct Professor of History and Education at
Teachers College, Columbia University.
Her writing on the subject of education is well documented by the
following list of books which include: "The Language Police: How
Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn" (2003); "Left Back: A
Century of Battles Over School Reform (2000);" "National Standards
in American Education: A Citizen's Guide (1995); What Do Our
17-Year-Olds Know?" (with Chester Finn, Jr.)  "The Schools We
Deserve (1985);" The Troubled Crusade: American Education,
1945-1980" (1983) and "The Revisionists Revised (1978);" "The Great
School Wars: New York City," 1805-1973 (1974).
For more information, please contact Madeline Larsen in The
School of Education at: (718) 990-2577. Interested media outlets
can contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant Vice President for Media
Relations by calling (718) 990-6185 or e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.