The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Recap: "Reign of Error: Responding to the Assault on Public Education" with Diane Ravitch

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Read a student's account of a Rockefeller Center public program. For more information, about MLDP, click here.
On Wednesday, October 23 at the Hopkins Center’s Alumni Hall, Professor Diane Ravitch gave a riveting talk that encouraged her audience to rethink the principles of the United States’ education system. Professor Ravitch began her talk with an example of the success of Finland’s education system, which, in her words, “aimed for equity in schools but got excellence in the process.” Thus, Professor Ravitch argued, the United States government cannot allow teaching in preparation for standardized testing or inequality to influence the education that its students receive. Professor Ravitch gave a series of policy recommendations designed to reform and reshape our country’s educational system. She suggested that the government recreate Race to The Top, President Obama’s current national education policy by offering $5 billion for districts to reduce their racial and economic segregation. In addition, she recommended that children be placed in smaller classes and have school nurses on duty every day. Finally, Professor Ravitch argued that teachers should write tests based on how they taught and use the test results to indicate how good of a job they are doing at teaching.
Professor Ravitch concluded with a powerful statement: the purpose of education is to prepare students for the duties of citizenship, help them think about the consequences of their actions, and learn to treat other individuals with respect. As a result of the talk, I am more committed to eradicating inequality in schools, for every individual in our country.
--Nana Adjeiwaa-Manu ’16, Fall 2013 MLDP Participant

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