America’s school system topic of 2015 Fogelson Honors Forum

Successful nations with top-performing school systems have a handful of things in common. They do not have charter schools or offer vouchers. Schools are funded equitably. Teachers are treated with respect. Districts recruit motivated people and see teachers as career professionals. And they ensure kids are healthy and ready to learn.”

So summarizes a speech Diane Ravitch gave in 2014 regarding common practices in top-performing school systems around the world and the potential for the demise of the American school system. Despite some of the highest test scores in our nation’s history and an increased graduation rate for high school students, an educational crisis still exists in areas where poverty and racial segregation occur. So what is the answer? Can the public education system be fixed?

Ravitch will explore multiple areas of the American school system in a series of events at the 2015 Fogelson Honors Forum. Her lecture, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom. The film Standardized—Lies, Money & Civil Rights: How Testing is Ruining Public Education will be screened at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Room 1008 in Clarence and Kerry Scharbauer Hall. Events for the Fogelson Honors Forum are free and open to the public.

The Fogelson Honors Forum is an annual event hosted by TCU’s John V. Roach Honors College to engage the campus in a thoughtful discussion about timely issues. This year’s forum is jointly sponsored by TCU’s College of Education’s Center for Public Education.

Ravitch, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and respected education advocate, is a noted historian and research professor who has lectured all over the world on various topics surrounding public education systems. She is the winner of a collection of awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship for Social Sciences and the American Education Award from the American Association of School Administrators. Ravitch has authored 10 books, including Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools, which will be part of her discussion about education.

The John V. Roach Honors College at TCU assists high-achieving students in reaching their full intellectual potential through challenging academic endeavors, a unique residential component, and community involvement. It was founded in 2009 thanks to a gift from Paul and Judy Andrews as a tribute to their friend, John Roach, a longtime Fort Worth civic and business leader and former chairman of the TCU Board of Trustees.