A Community Read of Diane Ravitch’s Reign of Error

Writers & Books and other community groups are planning a community read and community-wide discussion for the fall of 2014. Details are not final. Join in or watch for announcement for events.



“The Crisis in Our Schools: Does Public Education Have a Future?”


A Community-Wide Discussion of Issues in Public Education in our Community

and A Community Read of Diane Ravitch’s Reign of Error

Dates of Program: September 2014 – December 2014

This program, which will focus on the enormous challenges facing public education in our nation today, but particularly in this community, is intended to initiate discussion, involving all sides of the political and educational spectrum, about the tremendous challenges facing our public schools today, and what potential solutions might best serve our students.

Through a community read of Reign of Error, a critique of current educational policies written by Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush, and a series of forums, we hope to both inform a wide spectrum of our community about current educational issues and motivate them to become more involved in shaping the future of public education in the greater Rochester area.

Proposed Topics for Community Discussion Forums

  • Metropolitan vs. Neighborhood Schools (encompasses issues related to concentration of poverty)
  • Common Core and Testing/Curriculum
  • Teacher Tenure: Good or Bad for Education?
  • How do US schools and students stack up against others around the world?
  • Why would anybody want to be a teacher?
  • Charter Schools: Different & varied perspectives: voices from the field.

Intended Audience

We will seek to attract the widest possible audience to the forums, including: parents, students, teachers, administrators, business leaders, elected officials, the media, and anyone else with an interest in the future of our schools.

About Diane Ravitch:

Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education.

She blogs at dianeravitch.net, a site which has had nearly 8.3 million page views in less than a year.

From 1991 to 1993, she was 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.

From 1997 to 2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the federal testing program. She was appointed by the Clinton administration’s Secretary of Education Richard Riley in 1997 and reappointed by him 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.

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