URI fall honors colloquium on education to open with talk by Richard Rothstein

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Author of ‘Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right’

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 3, 2013 – The University of Rhode Island will launch its 51st fall honors colloquium Tuesday, Sept. 10 with a talk by Richard Rothstein, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute.

Titled “Great Public Schools: Everyone’s right? Everyone’s responsibility?” the colloquium will address critical and controversial issues through 14 presentations featuring leading education researchers, scholars and policy experts from here in the United States and as far away as Finland.

Rothstein is also a senior fellow of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law and the author of Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right, which is the title of his talk at URI Sept. 10.

“Richard Rothstein will provide context for two of the most important issues facing public education today,” said Professor David Byrd, colloquium co-coordinator and director of URI’s School of Education. “What do international tests really show about student performance? Why 50 years after the March on Washington is the test score gap between black and white students still too large? These two issues provide an excellent foundation for the entire colloquium series on Great Public Schools.”

The popular URI lecture series, which is primarily offered Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 10 through Dec. 10, is free and open to the public and held in Edwards Hall, 64 Upper College Road. For a complete listing of all events, please go to http://www.uri.edu/hc/. All of the lectures, except Sheryl WuDunn on Oct. 29, will be streamed live. Those unable to attend the lecture can watch it live online URI Live!

Rothstein also published, Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap (Teachers College Press 2004).

He wrote The Way We Were? Myths and Realities of America’s Student Achievement (1998). Other recent books include The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement (co-authored in 2005); and All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different? (co-authored in 2003).

Rothstein is also a lecturer and professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College.

Byrd, and URI Associate Professor of Education Diane Kern, also a colloquium coordinator, said they have developed a colloquium that addresses the big issues in public education from kindergarten through college. The pair said Rothstein’s breadth of knowledge and his research on the important issues of the day–testing, charter schools and student achievement–make him the ideal person to begin the colloquium.

“This first talk sets the stage for the Fall 2013 colloquium series on education,” Kern said. “Richard Rothstein challenges us to examine the current education reform movement critically, looking carefully at the evidence and the data.”

Note to media, for most of the lectures, speakers will be available from 3:30 to 5 p.m. for interviews. To make arrangements, please contact Dave Lavallee, URI Marketing and Communications, 401-874-5862.

The program is supported by:

Major Sponsor: URI Honors Program

URI Office of the President; URI Office of the Provost; The Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment; The Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment, as well as the following URI colleges, departments and offices, College of Human Science and Services, Talent Development, Multicultural Center, University College, WRIU’s The Beauty Salon, College of Arts and Sciences, The Harrington School of Communications and Media, John Hazen White, Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service, Department of Gender and Women Studies, College of Pharmacy, College of Engineering, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Nursing, Division of Student Affairs, Department of Marketing and Communications, Department of Publications and Creative Services, and Instructional Technology and Media Services. Rhode Island Public Radio is also a sponsor.

For more information on colloquium events contact Deborah Gardiner at 401.874.2381 or debg@uri.edu.

For information about ways to support the Honors Colloquium, contact URI Professor Lynne Derbyshire, Honors Program director, at 401.874. 4732. If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please call 401.874.2303 at least three business days in advance. For TTY assistance, please call the R.I. Relay Service at 800.745.5555.