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Can a New (Free) Degree at Harvard Spur Public School Reform?

For the first time in over 70 years, Harvard is adding a new degree to its roster-a three-year doctoral in education leadership, no less. The idea...


For the first time in over 70 years, Harvard is adding a new degree to its roster-a three-year doctoral in education leadership, no less. The idea is that the sorry state of public schools is a national emergency, and the attendant economic and political consequences of a bad education are something we should all be a little more worried about than we are. So this program will churn out a crop of reformers and leaders, and best of all, it's tuition-free.In a Saturday Op Ed in The New York Times, Bob Herbert explains:By 2050, the percentage of whites in the work force is projected to fall from today's 67 percent to 51.4 percent. The presence of blacks and Hispanics in the work force by midcentury is expected to be huge, with the growth especially sharp among Hispanics. If America is to maintain its leadership position in the world and provide a first-rate quality of life for its citizens here at home, the educational achievement of American youngsters across the board needs to be ratcheted way up.Given the news last week confirming the dismal achievement gap between minority and white college students, and the news that another service-minded program at Harvard would no longer be tuition-free, this could be a boon to reform-minded leaders who want to make a significant impact on public policy. (If you're one of those people, and you want to apply for the program, click here for basics and here for a handy FAQ. The application deadline is January 8, and the program begins in August.)
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