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Diane Ravitch, Pasi Sahlberg & Angelo Gavrielatos: Fighting the Privatisation of Education

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How are parents and teachers and activists successfully fighting the forces that are privatising public schools? US Education expert Diane Ravitch’s new book, Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America's Public Schools examines the resistance to the forces trying to privatising America’s public schools. Whether it is corporations or philanthropists like Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and Mark Zuckerberg, she shows how their ideas have failed and how the defenders of public education are winning.

Diane was joined by host Jane Caro, author of The Stupid Country: How Australia is Dismantling Public Education, Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish educator and deputy director of the Gonski Institute for Education, and Angelo Gavrielatos, President of the NSW Teachers Federation for a discussion about how schools in Australia and America are resisting privatisation of education.

There is no silver lining for COVID, but suddenly there is a realisation that public schools are the heart of the community and we must take care of them.

Diane Ravitch

COVID has laid bare the deep inequalities in our educational system. So why additional money to the already overfunded private education?

Angelo Gavrielatos

Listen on iTunes


Presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and Gonski Institute for Education, with the NSW Teachers Federation’s Centre for Professional Learning.

Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is one of the foremost authorities on education and the history of education in the United States, and a former US Assistant Secretary of Education. Originally a strong proponent of standardised testing in schools, she has been a central figure in critiquing the way it has been implemented. Her books include The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education and Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatisation Movement and The Danger to America’s Public Schools.

Pasi Sahlberg

Pasi Sahlberg

Pasi Sahlberg has worked as a schoolteacher, teacher-educator, researcher, and policymaker in Finland and advised education system leaders around the world. He has served as senior education specialist at the World Bank, lead education expert at the European Training Foundation, director general at the Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture, and visiting professor of practice at Harvard University. He is a recipient of several lifelong service for education awards, including the 2012 Education Award in Finland, the 2014 Robert Owen Award in Scotland, the 2016 Lego Prize, and Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Resident Fellowship in 2017. In 2013 his book Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland won the Grawemeyer Award for an idea that has potential to change the world. His most recent books include Let the Children Play: How more play will save our schools and help children thrive, Finnish Lessons 3.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland, and In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish Way to World-Class Schools. He is Professor of Education Policy at UNSW Sydney and the Deputy Director (Research) of UNSW’s Gonski Institute for Education. 

Angelo Gavrielatos Headshot

Angelo Gavrielatos

Angelo Gavrielatos is the President of the NSW Teachers Federation. Prior to his election, Angelo lead Educational International’s (EI) response to the growing commercialisation and privatisation of education. EI is the global union federation representing teachers and other education workers globally. Angelo was the Federal President of the Australian Education Union (AEU) for 7 years prior to commencing work with EI during which time, among other areas of work, he led the national Gonski schools funding campaign. Angelo is driven by a fundamental belief in the transformative power of public education and what it means for each individual child and nations, small or large, as a whole. 

Jane Caro

Jane Caro (Chairperson)

Jane Caro AM is a Walkley Award-winning Australian columnist, author, novelist, broadcaster, advertising writer, documentary maker, feminist and social commentator. Jane appears frequently on Q&A, The Drum and Sunrise. She has created and presented five documentary series for ABC's Compass. She and Catherine Fox present a popular podcast with Podcast One, Austereo Women With Clout. She writes regular columns in Sunday Life. She has published twelve books, including Just a Girl, Just a Queen and Just Flesh & Blood, a young adult trilogy about the life of Elizabeth Tudor, and the memoir Plain Speaking Jane. She created and edited Unbreakable which featured stories women writers had never told before and was published just before the Harvey Weinstein revelations. Her most recent non-fiction work is Accidental Feminists, about the fate of women over 50.  

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