top of page

The Big Test Mess in Education

How we got tangled up in high-stakes testing

Watch the forum here

(Give it 7 seconds to start)

Recorded Saturday, July 24, 2021

Guest speakers:


Professor Nicholas Lemann, Dean Emeritus at Columbia University, staff writer for The New Yorker, and author of The Big Test

Hon. Evie Hudak, former Colorado Senator and member of State Board of Education

Dr. Patty Limerick, Director of the Center of the American West and former State Historian

Nicholas Lemann served as Dean of Columbia Journalism School from 2003-13.

During his deanship, the School completed its first capital fundraising campaign, added 20 members to its full-time faculty, started its first new professional degree program since the 1930s, and launched significant new initiatives in investigative reporting, digital journalism, and executive leadership for news organizations.

Now Dean Emeritus and Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism, he also directs Columbia Global Reports, a book publishing venture. From 2017-2021 he was founding director of Columbia World Projects, a new institution that implements academic research outside the university.

Lemann is a staff writer at The New Yorker, and is on the boards of the Authors Guild, the Knight First Amendment Institute, the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, and the Russell Sage Foundation. He is a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and The American Academy of Political & Social Science. His latest book, “Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream,” was published in September 2019 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Evie Hudak, a former Colorado State Senator, is a well-known advocate for children, public education, and women’s rights, with a long history of active involvement in her community. She served in the State Senate from 2009-2013, during which time she served on several committees and commissions, including Senate Education Committee, where she was the Vice Chair and eventually the Chair. Before serving in the Senate, she spent 8 years as an elected member of the Colorado State Board of Education. Her background includes teaching at the secondary and college levels and coordinating programs in early childhood and voter outreach. Evie is an active member of PTA, Business and Professional Women, and League of Women Voters, as well as a number of other civic organizations.

Patty Limerick is the Faculty Director and Chair of the Board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, where she is also a Professor of History. Limerick has dedicated her career to bridging the gap between academics and the general public and to demonstrating the benefits of applying historical perspective to contemporary dilemmas and conflicts.

Limerick is also known as an energetic, funny, and engaging public speaker, sought after by a wide range of Western constituencies that include private industry groups, state and federal agencies, and grassroots organizations.

bottom of page