Experts & Staff

Richard D. Kahlenberg – Senior Fellow

Richard D. Kahlenberg
(202) 745-5476
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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 five books: 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 nine Century Foundation books: 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
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
Eyes on Tennessee as it begins free community college plan
April 16, 2014
Students question use of legacy admission
April 14, 2014
Good News for Low-Income Students
April 11, 2014
‘Controlled choice’: Does mixing kids based on family income improve education?
April 11, 2014
Ed Week: School choice & economically integrated schools
March 25, 2014
Hard classes and difficult lessons for Albion teens
March 25, 2014
What We’re Watching: ‘Controlled Choice’ in Washington, D.C.
March 21, 2014
Community of Equals?
March 18, 2014
No Longer Black and White
March 12, 2014
Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy hosts symposium on affirmative action
March 7, 2014
Online education isn’t immune to partisan politics
March 7, 2014
Colleges Straining to Restore Diversity
March 6, 2014
Colleges Straining to Restore Diversity
March 6, 2014
Why Economic School Segregation Matters
March 6, 2014
Pablo Rodriguez and John Morton: R.I. holds the key for educating diverse students
February 24, 2014
‘25 Years From Now: The Case for Diversity and Future of Affirmative Action in the Wake of Fisher’
February 24, 2014
You Call It a College Campus. I Call It Another Planet.
February 21, 2014
Want to Realize the Civil Rights Act’s Dream? Apply it to Union Rights, Too.
February 18, 2014
Want to Realize the Civil Rights Act’s Dream? Apply it to Union Rights, Too.
February 18, 2014
Wonkbook: How Labor Lost in Tennessee
February 18, 2014
Can Free Community College Improve State Economies
February 18, 2014
Magnet Schools Find a Renewed Embrace in Cities
February 18, 2014
Philanthropy & Democratic Education: Friends or Foes?
February 13, 2014
In Brooklyn’s District 13, a Task Force Aims to Engineer Socioeconomic Integration
February 13, 2014
Affirmative Action Fading from College Scene
February 13, 2014
Affirmative action fading from college scene
February 12, 2014
Watch: The Next America: Making Community Colleges Work
February 10, 2014
Democracy’s Champion: Albert Shanker
February 4, 2014
Wells Fargo and First Generation Films Announce “Go College!” Initiative to Inspire Students
February 3, 2014
Education Dept. Allows Public Charter Schools to Hold Weighted Lottery
January 30, 2014
Some Charters Can Use Weighted Lotteries, New Federal Guidance Says
January 30, 2014
Education Department changes charter school lottery rules
January 29, 2014
ASD leader’s comments bring attention to relationship between charters and school segregation
January 28, 2014
How D.C. schools can ward off the ‘Big Flip’
January 27, 2014
Successful magnet programs show potential
January 27, 2014
Wanted: Smart Students from Poor Families
January 21, 2014
The White House Summit on Low-Income Students Matters
January 21, 2014
Choice Plan Leaves Low-Income Students at the Bottom
January 21, 2014
Colleges Guide Low-Income Students From Getting In To Graduating
January 17, 2014
White House Seeks Ways To Get Poor Kids Through College
January 16, 2014
Nation’s New Mayors Revive Big-City Liberalism
January 13, 2014
2013: The Year America Went Back to College
January 6, 2014
Class Conscious
December 26, 2013
Public Education Under Siege
December 26, 2013
The Politics of Online Learning
December 20, 2013
A Possible Tool for Integrating Students?
December 17, 2013
Separate housing for first-generation students
December 16, 2013
Part of the Union
December 16, 2013
Forefront Excerpt: Charter for One
December 9, 2013
Community colleges are on the front lines of battling inequality
December 3, 2013
Oxford Union Results: Winner
November 22, 2013
A Better Goal for Chicago Public Schools
November 15, 2013
Some Charter Schools Aim to Break Old Patterns
November 8, 2013
Tackling Economic School Segregation
November 6, 2013
A Quarter-Century of ‘Posses’
October 28, 2013
Legacies Make Up 15 Percent of Cornell Students
October 17, 2013
The Terrible Fall of the Civil Rights Movement
October 16, 2013
Rutgers Study Compares Racial Divide in N.J. Schools to ‘Apartheid’
October 16, 2013
The Affirmative-Action Case Liberals Deserve to Lose
October 16, 2013
A Fresh Chance to Rein in Racial Preferences
October 14, 2013
The Artificially Constrained Community-College Discussion
October 4, 2013
Obama Administration Ignores Supreme Court, Encourages Racial Preferences
October 2, 2013
Education, Justice Depts. Issue Race Guidance After Fisher
September 30, 2013
The Misleading Administration Guidance on Affirmative Action
September 30, 2013
Are Charter Schools the New Segregation Academies?
September 25, 2013
US Schools Still Segregated by Race, Class
September 25, 2013
Black Enrollment Falls as Michigan Rejects Affirmative Action
September 25, 2013
Black Enrollment Falls as Michigan Rejects Affirmative Action
September 24, 2013
2-Year Students Have Long Had 4-Year Dreams
September 23, 2013
A Labor Day proposal for labor
September 3, 2013
A Refreshingly Honest Book About Affirmative Action
September 3, 2013
Segregated Schools Dominate ROC Area 50 Years After MLK’s ‘Dream’
August 29, 2013
Why Labor Rights Should Be a Civil Right
August 28, 2013
No Family Left Behind
August 28, 2013
What’s Her Number? Zip Codes Tell Us A Lot About Public School Quality
August 27, 2013
Middle- and Upper-Middle-Class Parent Action for Urban Public Schools: Promise or Paradox?
August 27, 2013
Study: ‘Magnetizing’ through choice is effective approach
August 26, 2013
I taught at the worst school in Texas
August 26, 2013
Why Labor Organizing Should be a Civil Right: An Interview
August 8, 2013
How to Fight Growing Economic and Racial Segregation in Higher Ed
August 2, 2013
The Unlikely Triumph of an Affirmative Action Prophet
July 18, 2013
A State Legislative Strategy for Labor
July 17, 2013
Pell Grants: Higher Education’s Brown v. Board of Education
July 15, 2013
Union City Blues
July 8, 2013
We Need Civil Rights for the Poor
June 27, 2013
Why Everyone Is Wrong about Fisher vs. University of Texas
June 26, 2013
The Class-Based Future of Affirmative Action
June 26, 2013
Supreme Court Sends Affirmative Action Case To Lower Court
June 25, 2013
The Next Affirmative Action?
June 25, 2013
Four Questions for Richard D. Kahlenberg
June 24, 2013
Four Questions for Rick Kahlenberg on Fisher
June 24, 2013
A new affirmative action based on class
June 24, 2013
End race-based affirmative action? Yes.
June 3, 2013
Richard Kahlenberg discusses the community college report on The Melissa Harris-Perry Show
May 28, 2013
What Colleges Can Learn From K-12 Education
May 23, 2013
Can Diversity Survive Without Affirmative Action?
May 14, 2013
Profs in the Cloud
May 6, 2013
Can The Common Core Standards Reverse The “Rising Tide Of Mediocrity”?
April 26, 2013
The Untapped Pool of Low-Income Strivers
March 19, 2013
The Leading Liberal Against Affirmative Action
March 9, 2013

Stay Informed

Sign up for our mailing list and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings at The Century Foundation

Sign up Today

Contact Us

Send us an email or get directions to The Century Foundation’s offices.

Contact Us

TCF Bookstore

The TCF Bookstore is a curated collection of books and magazines that backup the mission of our organization.

Visit Our Bookstore

Upcoming Events

View All Upcoming Events


New York City Office:
One Whitehall St., Fifteenth Floor
NY, NY 10004
DC Office:
1333 H Street, NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

  • Our RSS Feed
  • Find us on Twitter
  • Find us on Facebook

All Content Copyright © 2014 The Century Foundation