Former U.S. Asst. Sec. of Ed to Explore ‘Education on the Edge’ at CSUN Lecture

Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch

Best-selling author and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch will discuss the pressures facing public education in the United States on Wednesday, Oct. 2 as part of the Education on the Edge lecture series presented by California State University, Northridge’s Center for Teaching and Learning.

Ravitch, a well-respected historian, critic and analyst of education, will be introduced by actor and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Matt Damon, a longtime advocate of public education. The free lecture is scheduled to take place from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Northridge Center of the University Student Union, located on the east side of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

Drawing on her more than 40 years of research and experience, Ravitch will critique today’s most popular ideas and trends for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability and charter schools.

“Ravitch is a big thinker and a researcher who helps us question the norm,” said Wendy Murawski, the executive director of and Eisner Endowed Chair at the Center for Teaching and Learning. “The goal (of the series) is to bring to campus highly visible individuals who are considered cutting edge in various topics related to education. They are big thinkers who may cause us to question how we currently do things in education.

“At the Center for Teaching and Learning, our focus is on what really works in education,” Murawski said. “We know that the only way we can truly identify what really works is to have individuals who are willing to analyze, question, research and disseminate their information.”

Ravitch is a research professor of education at New York University and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. A prolific writer, she has published more than 500 articles and reviews for scholarly and popular publications on education. Ravitch is internationally acclaimed for her expertise on past and present education.

From 1991 to 1993, she was the 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 voluntary state and national academic standards.

In her newest book, “The Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools,” Ravitch takes on current trends for restructuring schools and offers instead her own prescription for improving American public schools. Ravitch is also well-known for her best-selling book, “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education,” which makes the case that public education today is in peril.

Due to the high turnout expected, registration is required in advance. Individuals interested in attending must register by Sept. 30. . For more information on the speaker, visit or For information on how to register online, visit the CSUN Center for Teaching and Learning website at

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