Closing the Nation's Racial Achievement Gaps III

THU, MAY 12, 2005 (1:34:24)

Organized by the Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI) at Harvard University, this is the third in a series of forums addressing Racial Gaps in School Readiness: The Importance of Early Childhood. Public discourse about achievement gaps is typically focused on what happens in schools and classrooms. However, the fact is that racial achievement gaps exist on the first day of kindergarten. The evening’s speakers will discuss research evidence on the size of the gaps that exist by kindergarten, research based explanations for those gaps, and some of the implications for policy and practice. This forum will feature Roland Fryer, Economics Department, Harvard University; David Grissmer, senior management scientist, Rand Corporation; and Kathleen McCartney, professor of education and academic dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

+ BIO: Roland Fryer Jr.

Roland Gerhard Fryer Jr. is a professor of economics at Harvard University. In addition to being affiliated with Harvard University he maintains offices at the National Bureau of Economic Research and WEB DuBois Institute. In January 2008, at age 30, he became the youngest African-American to ever receive tenure at Harvard. Fryer is widely regarded to be one of black America and Harvard’s rising stars, having published numerous economics-related papers in prominent academic journals over the past few years. The New York Times ran an extensive profile of Fryer, entitled “Toward a Unified Theory of Black America,” in March of 2005 that dealt extensively with Fryer’s rough upbringing.

+ BIO: David Grissmer

David Grissmer is a senior management scientist at RAND. He holds a PhD in physics from Purdue University. His education research includes teacher supply and demand, teacher compensation and attrition patterns, analysis of national test scores to determine the causes of changing trends, analyzing state test scores to determine causes of state differences, and effects of class size reductions. He is currently working with the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House to assess the federal research and development portfolio on children and methods of improving research on children. His current work also includes developing estimates of the number and location of children at educational risk in the U.S. and analyzing achievement patterns in central city, suburban, and rural schools. He has addressed U.S. senators and representatives at caucus retreats, members of the White House staff, top Cabinet officials, governors as well as legislators and policymakers from most states on the issues of effective use of resources in education.

+ BIO: Kathleen McCartney

Kathleen McCartney is the Dean of the Faculty of Education and the Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development. She is a developmental psychologist whose research informs theoretical questions on early experience as well as policy questions on child care, early childhood education, and poverty. Since 1989, McCartney has served as a principal investigator on the National Institute of Child Heath and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care & Youth Development, the findings from which were published by Guilford in 2005 book, Child Care and Child Development. McCartney is a co-editor of The Handbook of Early Child Development, published by Blackwell in 2006 as well as Best Practices in Quantitative Methods for Developmentalists, published by the Society for Research in Child Development in 2006. McCartney’s work has been informed by her experience as the director of the University of New Hampshire Child Study & Development Center, a laboratory school for children from birth through kindergarten. Kathleen McCartney has been named a Fellow by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the American Educational Research Association.

Harvard Graduate School of Education
African American Culture Series