March 7, 2011 — Pedro Noguera, an expert on school reform, diversity and the achievement gap, will deliver the sixth annual Walter N. Ridley Distinguished Lecture at the University of Virginia on March 21.
Sponsored by the Curry School of Education and the Ridley Scholarship Fund, the lecture honors Walter Ridley, who earned his Ph.D. from the Curry School in 1953, and in so doing became the first African-American to graduate from U.Va. and the first to receive a doctorate from a predominately white Southern university.
Noguera, a professor at the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University and director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, is also a part-time high school teacher, the author of several groundbreaking texts and a regular commentator on CNN and National Public Radio.
"Dr. Noguera is perhaps the pre-eminent scholar in urban education reform, and in addition to his scholarly work, he is closely tied to policy work and program development that connects his thinking to the realities and challenges of school reform," U.Va. Curry School of Education Dean Robert Pianta said. "As an educator deeply committed to equity and educational opportunity, Pedro Noguera is the contemporary embodiment of what Dr. Ridley worked so hard to achieve."
Noguera, who has also held posts at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, is the author or editor of several books, including the seminal "City Schools and the American Dream: Reclaiming The Promise of Public Education" and "Unfinished Business: Closing the Racial Achievement Gap in Our Schools."
His talk at U.Va. will be on "A Broader, Bolder Approach to Education," referring to a public policy group he helped launch. Experts from various fields (housing, education, civil rights) and from across the political spectrum are working to break a decades-long cycle of reform efforts that in his view have achieved little.
Admission to the lecture, to take place at 4 p.m. in the Dome Room of the Rotunda, is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Online registration is required.
In the event of an overflow crowd, a live video feed of the lecture will be available in the Rotunda's Lower West Oval Room.