April 8, 2008
Contact: Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Diane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of education and current research professor of education at New York University and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., will deliver a talk Monday, April 14, titled “The Perils of School Reform” in Paino Lecture Hall in Amherst College’s Earth Science and Museum of Natural History Building at 7:30 p.m. The event, the John J. McCloy ’16 Lecture, is free and open to the public.
From 1991 to 1993, Ravitch was assistant secretary of education and counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H.W. Bush. In that capacity she was responsible for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education and led the federal effort to promote the creation of state and national academic standards. After her tenure there, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board from 1997 to 2004; she was 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 and edited Brookings Papers on Education Policy. Before entering government service, she was adjunct professor of history and education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Ravitch has authored a number of books—including National Standards in American Education: A Citizen’s Guide (1995), Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform (2000) and, most recently, The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (2003)—edited 14 others and lectured in countries around the world. In addition, she serves as a member or on the boards of several educational foundations and has received numerous professional honors. A native of Houston, she is a graduate of the Houston public schools. She received a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a doctorate in history from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
The John J. McCloy ’16 Professorship was established at Amherst College in 1983 to honor John J. McCloy and his outstanding career of service and accomplishment in American politics and international diplomacy. Ravitch’s visit is being hosted by Amherst’s President’s Office.