Education in Crisis

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Elmhurst College’s Education in Crisis lecture series is a yearlong examination of the significant challenges facing education in the United States today. What makes schools work? Which reform efforts have paid off, and which have fallen flat? Why are boys more likely to struggle in school? Speakers from a variety of perspectives address these and other questions.

We're Not Broken: Empowering Students with Learning Differences
Jonathan Mooney

Johnathon Mooney

Jonathan Mooney is a rebellious, uplifting voice who will strike a chord with anyone who has had a hard time marching in step with a culture of "normality." Once considered "severely learning disabled," he went on to graduate from Brown, write two books and lecture at Harvard, Columbia and Penn. He honors even the most radical cognitive and physical differences, and celebrates the achievements of every person who must learn to live in beautifully original ways.

Thursday, September 5, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission $20

 

The Death and Life of the Great American School System
Diane Ravitch

Dian Ravitch

Diane Ravitch wants to know what makes schools work. A historian of American education at NYU who served in the administration of the first President Bush, she defies easy ideological labeling with a clear head and open mind that insists on seeing what the data really tell us about testing, choice, charter schools and other fashionable reforms. "I have always relied on Ravitch's intellectual honesty when battles become intense," says the political scientist Alan Wolfe. "Her voice is especially important now."

Tuesday, September 10, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission $20

 

Eighteen Years in the Eye of the Storm
Paul Vallas

Paul Vallas

Since 1995, Paul Vallas has brought a tough, hands-on corporate style to the leadership of some of the nation's largest and least settled school systems, in Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans and elsewhere. He has advanced reforms that have shaped the workings of schools across the United States. What's worked? What hasn't? Vallas works "to get results," he says. "But you will never get me to say, 'Mission Accomplished.'"

Thursday, September 12, 7:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10

 

The Rise of the Creative Class
Richard Florida

Richard Florida

What do colleges and universities bring to a society? Among other things, they form the basis of great cities where smart people want to live, fostering open and dynamic urban environments and attracting business and capital. Richard Florida established the significance of this emerging "creative class" in a best-selling book that confirmed his reputation as a preeminent urban theorist. Intelligent people, he says, are the most valuable natural resource of the 21st century.

The Roland Quest Lecture
Thursday, September 19, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission $20

 

The Trouble with Boys
Peg Tyre

Peg Tyre

Boys begin to struggle the moment they enter a classroom. In preschool, they're five times more likely than girls to be expelled; in elementary school, they're four times more likely to be diagnosed with learning disorders. They account for only 43 percent of Americans enrolled in college. The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Peg Tyre presents years of research from schools around the country on why boys are the new academic underdogs.

Tuesday, October 8, 7:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10

 

The Undocumented Students' American Dream
William Perez

William Perez

William Perez brings to the national discourse on immigration reform an abundance of research and a depth of understanding that unpacks the complexity of the debate and puts a human face on the nation's more than 1.8 million undocumented students. A native of El Salvador who came to the United States with his undocumented parents at age 10, Dr. Perez won the Stanford University Distinguished Scholar Alumni Award in 2010.

The César Chávez Intercultural Lecture
Wednesday, October 9, 4:00 p.m.

Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10

 

The Shame of College Sports
Taylor Branch

Taylor Branch

Last year in The Atlantic, Taylor Branch published what the commentator Frank Deford said "may be the most important article ever written about college sports." The real scandal, says Branch, is the very structure of college sports, wherein athletes generate billions of dollars for big universities while earning nothing for themselves. Branch is the Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and historian of the Civil Rights Movement.

Sponsored in part by BMO Harris Bank

The Rudolf G. Schade Lecture
Thursday, October 10, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission $20

 

Technology: The Passport to Personalized Education
Daphne Koller

Daphne Koller

Daphne Koller is a professor of political science at Stanford University and a founder of Coursera, the company that since 2012 has enrolled more than 4 million students in its massive open online courses (MOOCs). She is a passionate advocate for technology's potential to improve learning outcomes while lowering costs, and to "open doors that otherwise would remain closed for the millions here and abroad who lack access to good, in-person education."

Tuesday, October 22, 7:00 p.m.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel
Admission $20

 

The LGBT Student and the Culture of Respect
Eliza Byard

Eliza Byard

In 1990, a small group of teachers in Massachusetts challenged an education system that allowed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students to be bullied, beaten up, ridiculed, abandoned and allowed to fail. Today, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network is the largest organization in the nation working to ensure safe and decent schools, and its executive director, Eliza Byard, is an innovative leader in advancing efforts to create a culture of respect for all students.

The William R. Johnson Intercultural Lecture
Wednesday, October 23, 4:00 p.m.
Frick Center, Founders Lounge
Admission $10

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