Advancing a Free Society

Seeds of Reform Sown by Moynihan (and Coleman)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seven years after his death, Daniel Patrick Moynihan still makes the front page of the New York Times. The immediate context one day in mid-October was an article on the “culture of poverty” and how it is now legitimate to attend to this ticklish topic that had been taboo for so long, indeed since the ruckus that began with the “Moynihan Report” of 1965.

Yet Pat might as easily have been featured in that day’s piece on education reform, thanks to his role in another transformation of American society that, as it happens, began just a year after the Moynihan Report. I refer to James S. Coleman’s Equality of Educational Opportunity, a massive study that, as Pat often recalled, was quietly released over the Fourth of July weekend in 1966 by a Department of Health, Education, and Welfare that hoped nobody would notice it.

Continue reading Chester Finn at EducationNext