University to Host TIAA-CREF Lecture Featuring Diane Ravitch

Thursday, March 7, 2013

CHARLOTTE – March 6, 2013 – Scholar, policy maker and author Diane Ravitch will make two appearances in Charlotte on March 20, 2013. She will provide the TIAA-CREF Lecture for invited guests, titled “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, at UNC Charlotte Center City.

She will also engage in a community conversation in McKnight Auditorium, Cone Center, UNC Charlotte campus, from 4:30-5:15 p.m.   The McKnight Hall event is free and open to the public.  Registration is requested at

Ravitch, a research professor of education at New York University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., has been called on by the White House to develop educational policy. A prolific writer, her most recent book, “The Death and life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education,” makes the case that public education is in peril.

Drawing on her more than 40 years of research experience, Ravitch critiques today’s most popular ideas for restructuring schools, including privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, and the multiplication of charter schools, and offers a clear prescription for improving American public schools.

“The TIAA-CREF Lecture at UNC Charlotte is designed to connect the community and university around important ideas” said Mary Lynne Calhoun, dean of the College of Education, sponsoring college for the talks.  “This is a community that cares deeply about the success of our schools, and Dr. Ravitch’s provocative ideas will provide a great opportunity for us to think together about the future of our schools and our children.”

Ravitch served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander from 1991 to 1993. She led the federal effort to promote the creation of voluntary state and national academic standards. Appointed a member of the National Assessment Governing Board in 1997 and reappointed in 2001, she oversaw the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal testing program.

In 2010, the National Education Association selected her as its “Friend of Education” for the year.

She serves on the board of the Core Knowledge Foundation, Common Core, the Albert Shanker Institute of the American Federation of Teachers, and Common Good. She 
is an honorary life trustee of the New York Public Library and a former Guggenheim Fellow.

A native of Houston, she is a graduate of the Houston public schools. She received a B.A. from Wellesley College in 1960 and a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1975.

Ravitch will be available to speak to members of the media prior to the lecture.

About UNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university and maintains a particular commitment to addressing the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health, and social needs of the greater Charlotte region. UNC Charlotte is the third largest campus among the 17 institutions of The University of North Carolina system and the largest institution of higher education in the Charlotte region. Fall 2012 enrollment exceeded 26,000 students, including 5,000 graduate students.

Find UNC Charlotte on the Web, Twitter, Facebook and follow the UNC CLT_News blog at

About UNC Charlotte’s College of Education

The UNC Charlotte College of Education is characterized by strong commitments to the success of urban schools and to the preparation of professional educators who transform lives. The College is the second largest producer of teachers in the state of North Carolina, enrolling more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in professional education programs. Degree programs include doctoral programs in educational leadership, curriculum & instruction, special education and counseling as well as an innovative Master of Arts in Teaching program to prepare second career professionals for the teaching fields. Our programs are nationally accredited (NCATE, CACREP) and approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

About the Event Sponsor

The TIAA-CREF family of companies is a prominent financial services organization dedicated to providing lifetime financial security
to those in the healthcare, academic, cultural and research fields;
for people whose work serves others. An organization with $502 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2012, TIAA-CREF has more than 3.7 million participants in more than 27,000 plans and 15,000 public and private institutions.

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Public Relations media contact:  Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830,



Ravitch to Discuss the Future of Public Education