Join us! An Evening with Diane Ravitch, May 1, 2014

UPDATE 4/14/14: Unfortunately, Diane Ravitch will not be able to attend the May 1st event in Madison due to an injury, but Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis and Texas school superintendent John Kuhn are confirmed.  Click here for details on the exciting new lineup!

Update: SPARC HAS TICKETS to the May 1 Diane Ravitch event!  If you’d like to attend, please email or call Heather at (608) 572-1696(608) 572-1696 to make arrangements.  Suggested donation is $5.  Advance tickets recommended for this can’t-miss event for parents, educators, and anyone who wants to know more about the landscape of public education.

Public education and community schools advocate Diane Ravitch will speak on May 1st 2014 in Madison at the Monona Terrace at 7:00pm.   This is the rescheduled event originally planned for last fall, and is sponsored by Edgewood College’s School of Education, The Progressive, Midwest Family Broadcasting, Madison Teachers Inc. Wisconsin Education Association Council.

A grassroots networking social event begins at ravitch5:30, and SPARC will join other education advocacy groups to connect with each other and point event attendees toward local action teams and other those who share their concerns.  SPARC and other area grassroots teams are proud co-sponsors of this exciting event.

After her talk about the destructive elements of education reform, Diane will sign copies of her new book, Reign of Error.


“No matter what side of the debate the reader is on, Ms. Ravitch provides a thought-provoking look at some of the major challenges facing public education today.”
Eleanor Chute


Diane Ravitch
Reign of Error
May 1, 2014, Monona Terrace, 7:00pm
The suggested donation for the public talk is $5 – $10.  Tickets available at the Progressive, Edgewood, MTI, and same day at the event. There will be a Grassroots Networking Get-Together from 5:30-6:30. For more information on getting a free table at the networking event, contact Andrea Potter at the Progressive 608-257-4626608-257-4626. Come early to connect with local action teams and learn how YOU can get involved locally to address public education issues in your community.


If you’ve been following education news and upcoming legislation in Wisconsin, you are undoubtedly aware that there are several bills on the table this session that would severely undermine local control and weaken accountability of charter schools. Many of these measures are being drafted and supported by the lobbyists of for-profit voucher and charter ventures, such as the American Federation for Children and ALEC.  And Wisconsin is not the only state seeing the impact and influence of these efforts.  Nation-wide, this privatization agenda is being enacted by legislators who put political games before the needs of students and are consolidating power at the state level to hand our schools over to private interests, against our will and without our consent.

Diane Ravitch has been chronicling that process for over 20 years.  After serving in the Education cabinets of President George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Dr. Ravitch soon became the nation’s foremost authority on dangers of moving toward an increasingly standardized system of assessing our students and our schools, and how this system is tied to a larger privatization movement.  Her books include Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools (New York: Knopf, 2013); The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (2010); The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn (New York: Knopf, 2003); and Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000/2001).  Over the years, her positions have evolved as the political education landscape has changed and the influence of an agenda to privatize public education has become increasingly pervasive.

Her work, including her extremely popular blog and her new book, help shine light on how outside forces and special interest groups are shaping education policy and “reform” in Wisconsin, influencing legislation, and pouring unprecedented amounts of money into Wisconsin campaigns.   The current legislative session saw a slew of bills that undermine local authority and remove taxpayers from the decision-making process essential to ensuring that our public schools best serve the needs of our specific communities.  Such legislation, coupled with big-money influence of the special interests behind them, are a very real and very dangerous threat to public education in Wisconsin.

Please join us at this absolutely critical time to discuss what we can do locally to address these issues, and why the big picture of what’s going on nationally matters to all of us.


Reviews, interviews, and praise for Reign of Error:

In anticipation of the event, SPARC held a Community Conversation last fall: Why Public Education Matters: Locally, Nationally, Now with Ruth Conniff of The Progressive and Tim Slekar, Dean of the School of Education, Edgewood College, and Rep. Gary Hebl. Thanks to all who attended  – you can learn more about local action by checking out our Action Guide To Standing Up for Local Schools and Local Control.

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