Across the country, public school districts too often are marked by low academic achievement, high dropout rates, shrinking budgets and towering deficits that lead to shuttered schools and overcrowded classrooms. Despite government intervention, school systems continue to decline while educators, policymakers and business leaders hail stringent testing, private management and even mayoral control as cures for what ails public education. Meanwhile, children pay the price.

The Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society (FOCIS) presented author and educator Diane Ravitch as keynote presenter in a discussion on public education. With your support, more than 400 community members filled Community Arts Auditorium on Wayne State’s main campus to hear Dr. Ravitch expert opinions, developed through 40 years of research and experience. Professor Ravitch spoke on The Life and Death of the Great American School System, sharing her views on mayoral control, district governing structure, the proliferation of charter schools, testing and accountability, school curricula, and how best to prepare students to contribute in the 21st-century economy.