Editor’s note: Last week, at the University of Southern California, the annual Education Writers Association conference kicked off with a speech by USC professor Shaun Harper on “Big Ideas on Equity, Race, and Inclusion in Education.” That was followed by a panel on the same topic featuring Dr. Harper, Estela Bensimon, Pedro Noguera, and the Fordham Institute’s Michael J. Petrilli, moderated by Inside Higher Ed’s Greg Toppo. These were Petrilli’s comments as prepared.
Shaun's comments were well said, though you won't be surprised to know that I disagree with many of his arguments. I'm happy to get into that, as Greg sees fit.
But first I want to focus my comments on you, the reporters.
We all know that this is a difficult time to talk about issues of race and class in this country, thanks to the extreme polarization and division, including on this issue. Of course, President Trump doesn't make it any easier, as he shows no interest in bringing us together or bridging divides. In fact, he seems intent on making the divides even larger, with his awful race-mongering at his rallies and in social media, and with many of the actions his administration...