District 81 Superintendent

District 81 Superintendent

To engage constituents and provide open and transparent communication.

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Public Education in Peril

September 12, 2013

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of attending a motivating lecture delivered by former Assistant Secretary of Education and historian of American Education, Diane Ravitch.  Members of the SD81 administrative team and I visited the Elmhurst College campus to listen to her lecture entitled “The Death and Life of the Great American School System,” which highlighted themes from her most recent book of the same title, which focuses on how testing and choice are undermining education and have placed public education in peril.  Ravitch’s discussion was part of Elmhurst College’s year-long Education in Crisis lecture series that ponders the significant challenges facing American education today.

I have first-hand experience with these significant challenges facing our schools today. I have been communicating with our parents and public over the past year about changes to the assessment practices mandated by our state, and the ramifications of these changes. We are living  in an educational era where schools have been forced to use standardized testing  as the sole indicator of a student’s success. Ravitch’s critique of this practice validated my belief that there is so much more to a child’s achievement than a test score.

Ravitch’s progressive thinking and ideas for improving education in our country were fascinating. I value opportunities like these to listen to new ideas that invigorate my passion for teaching, learning and leading.


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