Experts & Staff

Richard D. Kahlenberg – Senior Fellow

Richard D. Kahlenberg
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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.

Blog of the Century Posts by Richard D. Kahlenberg
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
By Richard D. Kahlenberg
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
Ensuring Equity in Charter Schools
October 29, 2014
Here Come the New Neighbors
October 28, 2014
Michigan Colleges Look to Boost Low-Income Enrollment
October 28, 2014
Legacy: Just a By-Product of a Broken System
October 3, 2014
Hold Students Accountable and Support Them
September 30, 2014
How George W. Bush Benefited From Affirmative Action
September 15, 2014
Making Top Colleges Less Aristocratic and More Meritocratic
September 12, 2014
Rhee, Kahlenberg, & Daniels Debate Common Core, Integration, & New iPhone Design
September 11, 2014
The state of community and technical college in Minnesota
September 8, 2014
15 years later, woes of resegregation
September 5, 2014
Teaching in America: Education reform should start with empowering teachers
September 4, 2014
Want to Fix Obama’s Bad Education Policy? Start With These Two New Books
September 3, 2014
Wonkbook: The troubling state of labor
September 3, 2014
The Original Charter School Vision
September 2, 2014
Arise America - 28/08
August 29, 2014
Community college district tries full slate of innovations, all at once
August 29, 2014
Big charter change seen in 2 D.C. schools
August 28, 2014
Proposal for Union Membership to be a Civil Right
August 28, 2014
Elite schools are still mostly attended by wealthy people
August 27, 2014
“Smarter” Charters Are Diverse, Teacher-Led
August 27, 2014
Labor Rights are Civil Rights
August 25, 2014
Civil Rights and Union Organizing
August 11, 2014
What Explains KIPP’s Success? Peers May Be A Big Part of the Story
August 8, 2014
Texas Ruling Is Called Threat to Efforts to Move Beyond Race in Admissions
August 7, 2014
Mathis, Boychuck: RedBlueAmerica: Should union organizing be a civil right?
August 4, 2014
An Exciting Opportunity to Integrate Montgomery County Schools
August 1, 2014
New Bill Defines Labor Rights As Civil Rights
August 1, 2014
A Bill to Get the Labor Movement Back on Offense
July 31, 2014
Making workers’ rights a civil right
July 31, 2014
A Bill to Get the Labor Movement Back on Offense
July 29, 2014
Blowing Our Diversity Advantage
July 29, 2014
Rep. Keith Ellison Wants to Make Union Organizing a Civil Right
July 21, 2014
Does Integration Still Matter in Public Schools?
July 18, 2014
In Talking Achievement Gap, County Officials Touch On Prickly School Boundary Issue
July 18, 2014
Affirmative-Action Ruling Could Be Pyrrhic Victory for UT-Austin
July 18, 2014
Researcher Says City’s Charter Schools Aren’t Pushing Students Out, Though Other Cities’ Are
July 18, 2014
Plan to Remake Former Southwest High School Comes With Big Questions for Kansas City
July 14, 2014
Making School Choice Work
July 1, 2014
Chicago’s Entire School Desegregation Strategy Needs a Turnaround
June 27, 2014
Elite, Separate, Unequal
June 24, 2014
Researchers Explore Ways to Improve Racial Diversity at Colleges
June 20, 2014
Do Public School Teachers Deserve Failing Grades?
June 20, 2014
Tenure Is Not the Problem
June 19, 2014
Race-Blind Affirmative Action?
June 19, 2014
What Sotomayor Gets Wrong About Affirmative Action
June 19, 2014
If Affirmative Action Is Doomed, What’s Next?
June 19, 2014
Catholic Prep Chain Helps Detroit’s Minority Students Go On To College
June 13, 2014
Making School Choice Work
June 13, 2014
The Democratic Strategist Roundatable on Progressives and the White Working Class
June 5, 2014
Column: Affirmative Action for the Well-Connected
June 2, 2014
Why Colleges Should Encourage Students to Transfer
June 2, 2014
The resegregation of America’s schools
May 16, 2014
Who Betrayed The Legacy Of Brown V. Board?
May 13, 2014
The problem with Thomas Piketty
May 12, 2014
Why I’m Skipping My Harvard Reunion (A Call to Action)
May 7, 2014
Big Ideas: The gas tax, affirmative action and robotic cars
May 5, 2014
Community College Spotlight: What’s in a name?
May 2, 2014
Affirmative Action’s Next Phase May Target Class, Not Race
April 29, 2014
Shields and Brooks on Georgia gun rights, Southern Senate races
April 28, 2014
Supreme Court upholds Michigan’s ban on racial preferences in university admissions
April 28, 2014
How, after 60 years, Brown v. Board of Education succeeded — and didn’t
April 28, 2014
Focus on Class Instead
April 28, 2014
College diversity can survive high court’s decision
April 28, 2014

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