Experts & Staff

Richard D. Kahlenberg – Senior Fellow

Richard D. Kahlenberg
(202) 745-5476
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Richard D. Kahlenberg has been called “the intellectual father of the economic integration movement” in K-12 schooling and “arguably the nation's chief proponent of class-based affirmative action in higher education admissions.” He is also an authority on teachers’ unions, private school vouchers, charter schools, turnaround school efforts, labor organizing and inequality in higher education.

He is the author of six books: A Smarter Charter: Finding What Works for Charter Schools and Public Education (with Halley Potter) (Teachers College Press, 2014), Why Labor Organizing Should Be a Civil Right: Rebuilding a Middle-Class Democracy by Enhancing Worker Voice (with Moshe Marvit) (Century Foundation Press, 2012); Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2007); All Together Now: Creating Middle Class Schools through Public School Choice (Brookings Institution Press, 2001); The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action (Basic Books, 1996); and Broken Contract: A Memoir of Harvard Law School (Hill & Wang/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992.)

In addition, Kahlenberg is the editor of ten Century Foundation books: The Future of Affirmative Action: New Paths to Higher Education Diversity after Fisher v. University of Texas (2014); Bridging the Higher Education Divide: Strengthening Community Colleges and Restoring the American Dream, Chaired by Anthony Marx and Eduardo Padron (Executive Director) (2013); The Future of School Integration: Socioeconomic Diversity as an Education Reform Strategy (2012) Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions (2010); Rewarding Strivers: Helping Low-Income Students Succeed in College (2010); Improving on No Child Left Behind: Getting Education Reform Back on Track (2008); America’s Untapped Resource: Low-Income Students in Higher Education (2004); Public School Choice vs. Private School Vouchers (2003); Divided We Fail: Coming Together Through Public School Choice. The Report of The Century Foundation Task Force on the Common School, Chaired by Lowell Weicker (Executive Director) (2002); and A Notion at Risk: Preserving Public Education as an Engine for Social Mobility (2000).

Kahlenberg's articles have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and elsewhere. He has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, C-SPAN, MSNBC, and NPR.

Previously, Kahlenberg was a Fellow at the Center for National Policy, a visiting associate professor of constitutional law at George Washington University, and a legislative assistant to Senator Charles S. Robb (D-VA). He also serves on the advisory board of the Pell Institute, the Albert Shanker Institute and the Research Advisory Panel of the National Coalition for School Diversity. In addition, he is the winner of the William A. Kaplin Award for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy Scholarship. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and cum laude from Harvard Law School. Between college and law school, he spent a year at the University of Nairobi School of Journalism as a Rotary Scholar.

Latest Work by Richard D. Kahlenberg
The WAGE Act Provides Powerful New Labor Protections For Employees
September 16, 2015
SCOTUS to Review Fisher Case on Affirmative Action at University of Texas
June 29, 2015
How Higher Education Funding Shortchanges Community Colleges
May 28, 2015
Colleges Must Act in Wake of Supreme Court Decision
April 22, 2014
Why Did Oxford Students Vote Against Affirmative Action?
November 27, 2013
Affirmative Inaction
November 26, 2013
What To Do about Diversity at Stuyvesant?
November 1, 2013
Diane Ravitch on Real Education Reform
September 23, 2013
Why Liberals Should Embrace Fisher v. Texas
August 2, 2013
Close Allies, Not Rivals, on Affirmative Action
June 27, 2013
Class, Not Race: A Response to Sherrilyn Ifill
June 14, 2013
In Defense of Class-Based Affirmative Action
May 31, 2013
Saving the Common Core Standards
April 30, 2013
The Fiscal Times Gets School Integration Wrong
April 21, 2013
New York Times Magazine on the Power of Middle-Class Schools
April 11, 2013
Why Is Obama’s Agriculture Department Standing in the Way of School Integration?
February 6, 2013
A Civil Right to Organize
January 23, 2013
Teachers and School Integration—Both Matter
January 14, 2013
Recent research supports district’s diversity plan
January 14, 2013
Discarded Integration Method Sees New Life
January 4, 2013
The Best and Worst in Education and Labor: 2012
December 14, 2012
2012 Review. Kahlenberg on education and labor
December 14, 2012
A Better Affirmative Action: State Universities that Created Alternatives to Racial Preferences
October 3, 2012
Rebuilding the Labor Movement
May 25, 2012
Diverse Charter Schools: Can Racial and Socioeconomic Integration Promote Better Outcomes?
May 23, 2012
Charter Schools that Work: Economically Integrated Schools with Teacher Voice
October 17, 2010
The Legacy Racket: The Problem With College Admission Preferences For Children Of Alumni
September 17, 2010
Turnaround Schools That Work: Moving Beyond Separate but Equal
November 11, 2009
Rescuing Brown v. Board of Education
June 27, 2007
No Child Left Behind’s Impotence on the Achievement Gap
November 20, 2006
Can Separate Be Equal? The Overlooked Flaw at the Center of No Child Left Behind
April 22, 2004
Remembering Al Shanker
February 26, 2002
Class Based Affirmative Action in College Admissions
May 17, 2000
Economic School Integration
February 17, 2000
FEATURING Richard D. Kahlenberg
Acting Education Secretary Champions Economic, Racial Integration
January 25, 2016
Should schoolteachers be required to pay for services of unions they haven’t joined?
January 16, 2016
Abbreviated pundit roundup: Previewing the State of the Union
January 12, 2016
Strong Unions, Strong Democracy
January 12, 2016
Is the Supreme Court about to take aim at teachers unions? And what happens if it does?
January 11, 2016
Will Inequality Ever Stop Growing?
December 29, 2015
The rich-poor divide on America’s college campuses is getting wider, fast
December 17, 2015
Using Class, Not Race, to Produce Racial and Socioeconomic Diversity
December 15, 2015
Right-wing judge for working-class kids
December 11, 2015
What’s different about the latest challenge to affirmative action?
December 10, 2015
The Future of Affirmative Action
December 8, 2015
One way to boost achievement among poor kids? Make sure they have classmates who aren’t poor.
December 8, 2015
Op-Ed Texas’ college admissions policies give the well-to-do a leg up
December 8, 2015
Choosing Classrooms: How Controlled Choice Could Make New York City’s Education System More Equal
December 1, 2015
In Supreme Court case, university defends race-based policy giving middle-class minorities an edge
November 25, 2015
Education expert: Socioeconomic segregation hurting poor children
November 6, 2015
Could Socioeconomic Integration work in Hamilton County Public Schools?
November 6, 2015
With all deliberate speed: Brown v. Board of Education II 60 years later
November 4, 2015
Does affirmative action still have a place in college admissions decisions?
November 3, 2015
Race shouldn’t overshadow economic class concerns
October 16, 2015
Federal Grants for Charter Schools
October 12, 2015
Will John King’s last effort to desegregate New York’s schools work?
October 7, 2015
Is It Time for a Civil-Rights Movement for the Poor?
September 18, 2015
Democrats Want To Make Labor Organizing Akin To A Civil Right
September 16, 2015
The Power of a Lawsuit
September 16, 2015
Can Millennials Save Unions?
September 7, 2015
Some Questions About This American Life’s School Integration Story
August 3, 2015
How a New Report May Hasten the End of Racial Preferences in Admissions
July 24, 2015
Boom-or-bust Education Entrepreneurs Are Courting Hope and Risk with Children
July 23, 2015
Ahead of Fisher, Harvard Asks To Delay Admissions Lawuit
July 10, 2015
Colleges Brace for Supreme Court Review of Race-Based Admissions
July 9, 2015
Taking a Page From K–12 School Funding
July 8, 2015
High court may deal unions serious blow
July 2, 2015
Why We Still Need Affirmative Action Policies In College Admissions
July 1, 2015
A Union of Disruptors? Meet the Uber driver trying to hack organized labor
June 30, 2015
Belabored Podcast #80: Class Struggle? There’s An App for That
June 29, 2015
Does Harvard Discriminate Against Asian Applicants?
June 19, 2015
When Charters Go Union
June 19, 2015
Rick Kahlenberg: Tenure-The Pros, the Cons, the Concerns
June 19, 2015
Separate and Economically Unequal
June 18, 2015
Workers in America have problems. Meet the technologies trying to solve them.
June 16, 2015
Here’s how much more you’d make if you were in a union
June 12, 2015
How Much More Money Would You Make If You Were Unionized?
June 11, 2015
Virtual labor organizing could be how the next generation of workers get unionized
June 11, 2015
Morning Shift
June 11, 2015
Fact: Union Members Earn More Money
June 10, 2015
Labr? An App For Organizing Workers Is Coming
June 10, 2015
A Civil Rights Movement for Working-Class People
June 9, 2015
Tenure: How Due Process Protects Teachers and Students
June 9, 2015
Can Charter Schools Be Rescued From the Charter Industry?
June 5, 2015
Does Harvard Need Your Money?
June 5, 2015
School Segregation Is Much Bigger Than a Few Schools in The South
June 5, 2015
Race-Based Admissions: The Right Goal, but the Wrong Policy
June 4, 2015
Do Community Colleges Deserve Better Funding?
June 4, 2015
Community College Students Are Being Cheated Out of Public Funding, Study Says
May 29, 2015
Addressing the Inequity Gap
May 28, 2015
For the Sake of Working-Class Students, Give ‘Fisher’ Another Chance
May 18, 2015
Education and Economic Policy in an Age of Political Polarization: Is There a Good Way Forward?
May 13, 2015
High Quality Schools for All
April 21, 2015
Economic Inequality Goes to College
April 13, 2015
Q & A : A Smarter Charter?
April 8, 2015
George Washington Forum presents: Debate: Public Sector Unions
April 1, 2015
No Girls Allowed
March 30, 2015
The End of College?
March 23, 2015
Legacy Status Tips Admission Scales
March 20, 2015
Two Authors, Two Views on Future of Charter Schools
March 18, 2015
Immobile in America
March 10, 2015
What Charter Schools Can Teach Us About Teacher Voice
March 9, 2015
What Makes a Charter Smarter?
February 26, 2015
Family Influence on Education
February 25, 2015
Politicians, Alumni Seek Admissions Help, But Universities Rarely Comply, Experts Say
February 20, 2015
UT Looks Great in Scandal If You Don’t Read Any of Them Furrin Publications
February 19, 2015
Why Teachers Must Be at the Table
February 19, 2015
Is There a Middle Ground in ESEA Reauthorization That Serves Both Sides’ Interests?
February 18, 2015
A Promising Type of Charter
February 18, 2015
UT-Austin Should Be Honest About Strings Pulled to Gain Admission, Expert Says
February 16, 2015
Saving School Choice Without Undermining Poor Communities
February 14, 2015
How Immigration Distorts Affirmative Action Policy: Academic
February 14, 2015
Affirmative Action for the Advantaged at UT-Austin
February 13, 2015
Why Labor Should Support Class-Based Affirmative Action
February 10, 2015
Lani Guinier on Our Ivy League Meritocracy Lie
February 4, 2015
The Widening Income Gap in Higher Education—and What to Do About It
February 3, 2015
Obama’s Free Community College Program Has a Catch
February 3, 2015
How Can Charter Schools Best Help Poor Kids? Start Promoting Integration.
February 2, 2015
Smarter Charters
January 30, 2015
Koch Brothers/Charter School Nightmare: “White Kids Get to Go to a School With a Montessori Approach
January 21, 2015
Labor at a Crossroads: Can Broadened Civil Rights Law Offer Workers a True Right to Organize?
January 12, 2015
The Genius of Obama’s Two-Year College Proposal
January 12, 2015
Standardized Tests Are Weakening Our Democracy
January 7, 2015
While It’s Up to Voters, the Election Process Tends to Favor Dynasties
January 7, 2015
Restoring Shanker’s Vision for Charter Schools
December 16, 2014
Don’t Misunderstand How Charter Schools Succeed
December 11, 2014
Achieving College Diversity Without Discriminating By Race
November 21, 2014
Valuing All Voice
November 20, 2014
Civil Rights Pioneer: ‘You almost feel like you’re back in the ‘60s.’
November 14, 2014
Smart Zoning as an Education Reform
November 7, 2014
The New Segregation
November 4, 2014
For D.C. Schools, Race and Class Still Define the System
November 3, 2014
A Smarter Charter: A Response to Nelson Smith
October 31, 2014
A Helping Hand to High Achievers
October 29, 2014

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