JFK AND BEYOND
Young Faculty Take on Education Challenges
The uneven, often poor, state of elementary and secondary
education in the United States continues to confound educators of
the nations youth. Two years ago, Harvard professor and statistician
Richard Light, author of the popular Making the Most of College,
working together with senior Center for Business and Government
fellow Thomas Healey, decided to get involved.
The result was the creation of the Young Faculty Leaders
Forum, a 32-member board of elite junior faculty from around the
country, with expertise in a wide range of fields, including education,
astrophysics, the classics, political science, history,
and anthropology. Beginning in January of last year, the participants
came together every six months for a two-day conference, where they
presented findings and offered feedback on the multitude of issues
According to Light, the initiative, which is sponsored
by the Center for Business and Government, has exceeded expectation.
Many of the young faculty, he said, believe their efforts have had
a positive influence on their own field of expertise. In June, the
participants will begin the second stage of their effort when they
reconvene to put together a report detailing their findings. The
report will be distributed to educators, policymakers, foundations,
and business leaders.