All-stars of Public School Reform Speak at Pace

Some of the nation’s most influential advocates of urban school reform will appear beginning on February 13 in the Pace University School of Education’s sixth annual lecture series, “The Current Status of Urban School Reform: What is Real?”


Cara Halstead Cea, Pace University, 914-906-9680,
Arthur Maloney, EdD, Pace School of Education, 212-346-1347,


School of Education Presents Sixth Annual Distinguished Educators Lecture Series
On “What Is Real” in Urban School Reform

Kozol, Ravitch, Meier to appear

NEW YORK, NY – Some of the nation’s most influential advocates of urban school reform will appear beginning on February 13 in the Pace University School of Education’s sixth annual lecture series, “The Current Status of Urban School Reform: What is Real?”

The series, presented from 6-8 pm after the school day, has developed a large following that regularly fills Pace’s Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts in downtown Manhattan and over the years has drawn virtually every eminent voice for improvement in elementary and secondary schools.

This year’s stellar lineup includes Diane Ravitch, sometimes described as “a thorn in the side of the US Department of Education,” presenting a critical look at school reform in New York City; the best-selling, award-winning author and educator Jonathan Kozol who is currently influencing Senate leadership to radically revise the punitive aspects of No Child Left Behind; and Deborah Meier, the grandmother of the current effort to carve out “small” schools within big-city systems who has successfully created a dozen of them herself serving predominantly low-income students.

The Schimmel Center for the Arts is part of Pace University’s downtown Manhattan campus East of from City Hall, entrance on Spruce Street. The lectures are free and open to the public. Media admission by press pass. Westchester residents can view the series in White Plains via simulcast in the 2nd floor auditorium at Pace’s Lubin Graduate Center, One Martine Ave. The complete schedule:

February 13 – “Who Will Teach Urban Children?”
Susan Moore Johnson, EdD, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Susan Moore Johnson has studied the leadership of superintendents, the effects of collective bargaining on schools, the use of incentive pay plans for teachers, and the school as a context for adult work. She is the Pforzheimer professor of teaching and learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she served as academic dean from 1993 to 1999. She studies and teaches organizational change, teacher policy, and administrative practice. A former high school teacher and administrator, she is director of The Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, which examines how to best recruit, support, and retain a strong teaching force in the next decade. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including Finders and Keepers: Helping New Teachers Survive and Thrive in Our Schools (Jossey-Bass, 2004).

February 20 – “Learning to Teaching in an Era of Accountability: What’s Social Justice Got to Do with It?”
Marilyn Cochran-Smith, PhD, Lynch School of Education, Boston College
Marilyn Cochran-Smith is a nationally and internationally known scholar and frequent keynote lecturer on issues related to teacher quality, teacher preparation, research on teaching, and teacher education. She is currently a member of the National Research Council’s committee on teacher education, which is sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences and was charged by Congress to study the state of teacher education in the U.S.; she served on the National Institute of Education’s International Advisory Panel in 2007 and was co-chair of the American Educational Research Association’s National Panel on Research and Teacher Education, whose report, Studying Teacher Education, was published in 2005 and received AACTE’s Best Publication award.

Cochran-Smith holds the John E. Cawthorne Millennium Chair in Teacher Education for Urban Schools and directs the Doctoral Program in Curriculum and Instruction at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. She earned her PhD in Language and Education from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982. She was the 2005 president of the American Educational Research Association and received AERA’s 2007 Relating Research to Practice Award for her book, Practice, Policy and Politics in Teacher Education (Corwin Press, 2006), a collection of 30 editorials written between 2000–2006 when she was the editor of the Journal of Teacher Education. She was the inaugural holder of the C.J. Koh Endowed Chair at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in 2006. Four of her six books have won national awards.

March 12 – “School Reform in New York City: A Critical Evaluation”
Diane Ravitch, PhD, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University
Diane Ravitch wrote her latest book with her husband, Michael Ravitch –The English Reader: What Every Literate Person Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2006. Currently she is research professor of Education at New York University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She was assistant secretary of Education and counselor to Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, when she led the federal effort to promote the creation of state and national academic standards.

Before entering government service, she was adjunct professor of History and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has authored and edited several books, has written more than 400 articles and reviews for scholarly and popular publications, and has lectured in Poland, the former Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, the former Soviet Union, Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, and throughout the United States. She has received dozens of prestigious awards and honors. She earned a BA from Wellesley College in 1960, a PhD in history from Columbia University in 1975, and has been awarded honorary degrees by Williams College, Reed College, Amherst College, the State University of New York, Ramapo College, Saint Joseph’s College of New York, Middlebury College Language Schools, and Union College.

March 26 – Jonathan Kozol, Author and Activist
Jonathan Kozol, author of the best-selling Death at an Early Age, received a summa cum laude degree in English literature from Harvard in 1958, after which he was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. During the civil rights campaigns of 1964 and 1965, he moved from Harvard Square into a poor black neighborhood of Boston and became a fourth grade teacher in the Boston public schools. He has devoted the subsequent four decades to issues of education and social justice in America. His books, including Death at an Early Age (Houghton Mifflin, 1967), Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America (Crown, 1988), Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation (Crown, 1995), The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (Crown, 2005), and Letters to a Young Teacher (Crown, 2007), have sold millions, appeared on the New York Times best-seller lists, and have received dozens of prestigious awards, including the National Book Award in Science, Philosophy, and Religion, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the Conscience in Media Award of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the New England Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

When he is not with teachers in their classrooms or speaking to future teachers, Kozol is likely to be found in Washington, where he devotes considerable time to what he calls his “lifelong efforts at remediation” of the members of the U.S. House and Senate, attempting to convince the Senate leadership to radically revise the punitive aspects of No Child Left Behind.

April 16 – “What’s the Big Fuss All About? What’s at Stake in the Latest Round of Educational Reform? A View from the Bottom”
Deborah Meier, Educational Reformer, Writer and Activist
Steinhardt School of Education, New York University
Deborah Meier, the grandmother of the “small schools” movement currently underway in the public schools of New York City, most recently wrote Many Children Left Behind: How the No Child Left Behind Act is damaging our children and our schools (Beacon Press, 2004). She is on the faculty of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education as senior scholar and adjunct professor, a board member and director of New Ventures at Mission Hill, director and advisor to Forum for Democracy and Education, and on the Board of The Coalition of Essential Schools. A recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 1987, she has dedicated her life to successfully redesigning the reform of failing city schools and created a dozen new small schools serving predominantly low-income students. She attended Antioch College and received an MA in History from the University of Chicago. She has received honorary degrees from Bank Street College of Education, Brown, Bard, Clark, Teachers College of Columbia University, Dartmouth, Harvard, Hebrew Union College, Hofstra, The New School, Lesley College, SUNY Albany, Umass Lowell, and Yale. A learning theorist, Meier encourages new approaches that enhance democracy and equity in public education. Her other books include The Power of Their Ideas, Lessons to America from a Small School in Harlem (Beacon Press, 1995), Will Standards Save Public Education (Beacon Press, 2000), In Schools We Trust (Beacon Press, 2002), Keeping School: Letters To Families From Principals Of Two Small Schools, with Ted and Nancy Sizer (Beacon Press, 2004).

Pace University is a partner in one of New York City’s new “small schools,” Pace High School, on the lower East Side. For more than 100 years the University has been preparing students to become leaders in their fields by providing an education that combines exceptional academics with professional experience and the New York advantage. Pace has three campuses, in New York City, Westchester, and White Plains. A private metropolitan university, Pace enrolls nearly 13,500 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, Lubin School of Business, School of Law, School of Education, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems.