Research Professor of Education, New York University; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Entering its seventh year, the Aspen Ideas Festival will gather some of the most interesting thinkers and leaders from around the US and abroad to discuss their work, the issues that inspire them, and their ideas. Presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, the Festival is unique in its dedication to dialogue and exchange, and in its commitment to bringing ideas to the public at large. FORA.tv is pleased to present Festival programs taking place at the Aspen Institute's Paepcke Auditorium.
James Bennet has been editor in chief of The Atlantic since 2006. Before joining the Atlantic staff, Bennet was the Jerusalem bureau chief for The New York Times. During his three years in Israel, his coverage of the Middle East conflict was widely acclaimed for its balance and sensitivity. His much-lauded long-form writing for The New York Times Magazine was responsible for catching the eye of Atlantic owner David Bradley during his year-long search for a new editor. Upon accepting the position, Bennet told a Times reporter that he saw the Atlantic job as “a chance to help, encourage and preserve the practice of serious, long-form journalism.” Prior to his work in Jerusalem, he served as the Times’ White House correspondent and was preparing to join its Beijing bureau when he was offered the Atlantic editorship. Bennet began his journalism career at the Washington Monthly.
Wendy Kopp is founder and CEO of Teach For America, which is working to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting the nation's most promising future leaders in the effort. This year 48,000 individuals of all academic majors applied to Teach For America; more than 8,000 corps members in the midst of two-year teaching commitments taught in 39 urban and rural regions nationwide; and 20,000 alumni continued working toward educational excellence and equity from positions both inside and outside the education system.
Kopp is also CEO and co-founder of Teach For All, which is seeking to accelerate and increase the impact of this model in a growing number of countries around the world. She is the author of A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn't in Providing an Excellent Education for All.
Diane Ravitch is a research professor of education at New York University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She has written ten books including her most recent, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. She was US assistant secretary of education and counselor to the secretary of education during part of the George H. W. Bush administration. She was appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board by the Clinton administration's secretary of education. For ten years, she held the Brown Chair in Education Studies at the Brookings Institution and edited Brookings Papers on Education Policy. Before entering government service, she was a professor of history and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Ravitch is a former Guggenheim Fellow. Her writing has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, and she blogs for Education Week, Politico, and The Huffington Post.
NYU education professor Diane Ravitch sharply criticizes the "teach to the test" culture she argues has been created by policies like No Child Left Behind. "Our education system is now spending billions on test prep," says Ravitch. "The more intensively we test-prep the kids, the less likely they are to actually know what they're being tested about."
Our current testing does not allow a student to explain why a choice is made. Often the student's logic for an answer selection is very compelling. We do NOT test thinking. We are going to lose our edge in innovation because we are limiting real thinking in our schools.