Keynote Speaker – Diane Ravitch


In 2003, noted historian, Diane Ravitch, published the powerful book, The Language Police, an expose of the systematic censorship and sanitization of books and standardized tests by test makers, publishers, school boards, state governments, and the federal government as well. These organizations and agencies routinely delete and/or change words and topics which they consider to be too offensive or controversial for the intended audience. Diane’s keynote address, “The Language Police Revisited,” will reiterate and update her findings and inform us of what, if anything, is being done to remedy this travesty.

Diane Ravitch is a nationally known historian of education, Research Professor of Education at New York University, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

From 1996-2005, she held the Brown Chair in Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and edited Brookings Papers on Education Policy.

Ravitch is a member of the board of the New American Foundation, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, the Albert Shanker Institute of the American Federation of Teachers, Common Good, the James B. Hunt Leadership Institute, and the Core Knowledge Foundation. Until 2004, she was a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, to which she was appointed by Secretary of Education Richard Riley in 1997 and reappointed in 2001.

From 1991 to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education responsible for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education during the administration of President George H.W. Bush, and she was counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander.

She is known for her recent book The Language Police (2003). She has written seven other notable books, including Left Back (2000), The Troubled Crusade (1983), and The Great School Wars (1974).

In 2005, she received the John Dewey award from the United Federation of Teachers in New York City and the Uncommon Book Award from the Hoover Institution. She was elected to membership in the National Academy of Education (1979), the Society of American Historians (1984), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1985), and PEN International.

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. She has received honorary degrees from Williams College, Reed College, Amherst College, the State University of New York, Ramapo College, St. Joseph’s College of New York, Middlebury College Language Schools, and Union College.

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