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I owe a special debt to my alma mater, Wellesley College. The college accepted me in 1956, coming from San Jacinto High School in Houston, an unpolished, unsophisticated 17-year-old who wanted to make a difference in the world but didn’t know where to start. My four years at Wellesley changed my life. I acquired a bit of polish, a smidgeon of sophistication (my friends would say, none or very little, actually), and a great education. It took a while to figure out where and how to make a difference, but I eventually did figure it out. After marriage and children, I entered graduate school, studied with Lawrence Cremin, the nation’s most outstanding historian of education, and found my niche.
This Thursday, I will be speaking at Wellesley and inaugurating a lecture series that I endowed. Its theme is: “Education and the Public Good.” I have also endowed opportunities for student research and internships, as well as other activities that promote scholarship and understanding of current issues in education. Knowing the idealism and brilliance of the students it attracts, I am hopeful that Wellesley will become a center that produces women devoted to advancing the common good and the public interest. Wellesley graduates enter many fields, including education, government, business, law, medicine, science, engineering, philanthropy, and finance. Wherever they are, I hope that what they learn in college will imbue them with a commitment to improving the lives of all children and investing in our shared future. There is a huge reservoir of intellect, character, and wisdom at Wellesley. My hope is that this great resource will advance our common purposes, our public purposes, now and in future generations of students.
I am speaking at 7 p.m. and all are welcome. The event will be live streamed.
Here is the College’s announcement:
Watch the live webcast of the inaugural Diane Silvers Ravitch ’60 Lecture on Thursday, October 22 at 7:30 PM EST.
Wellesley College is proud to welcome Diane Ravitch ’60 for the inaugural lecture in a new series of talks on current issues in public education. Ravitch is a leading national advocate for public schools who is ranked at the top of Education Week’s 2015 listing of influential scholars. In her presentation, entitled How to Ruin or Revive Public Education, she will discuss how testing and privatization are damaging children, teachers, schools, and communities, and are threatening public education as a common good.
Author of the New York Times bestsellers The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education and Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement, and many other books and articles on education history and policy, Ravitch also maintains a popular blog with nearly 23 million page reviews. She served as Assistant Secretary of Education and Counselor under President George H.W. Bush, and was later appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board by President Bill Clinton.
Please join us in the Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall Auditorium, Thursday, October 22 at 7:30 PM, or watch How to Ruin or Revive Public Education streamed live.
106 Central Street | Wellesley, MA 02481
781.283.2373 | wellesley.edu/events