As Rhode Island debates high school diplomas tied to test scores, a prominent critic of standardized testing comes to make her case at the University of Rhode Island. Diane Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, is scheduled to speak this evening as part of URI's honors colloquium on education.
Ravitch once championed the use of testing and tougher standards for public schools as an assistant secretary of administration in the first Bush administration. Today, she argues the increasing focus on standardized testing has injured public schools and public school teachers while lining the pockets of testing companies and other education-related corporations.
A controversial figure who strongly criticizes charter schools, Ravitch has become a champion of teachers, who say she is one of the few critics speaking the truth about an education reform movement that has left many teachers feeling demoralized.
Critics say Ravitch paints so-called education reformers with too broad a brush and offers few solutions for parents who are unhappy with the quality of local public schools.