Areas of Expertise
- Children, Youth and Families
- Race & Ethnicity
- Early Childhood Education
- Higher Education
David L. Kirp, professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, is a former newspaper editor and policy consultant as well as an academic. His interests range widely across policy and politics. In his fifteen books and scores of articles in both the popular press and scholarly journals he has tackled some of America’s biggest social problems. His involvement with government agencies and foundations, as well as his teaching and his community activism, address these issues at ground level. Between the 2008 election and the Inauguration, he served on President Obama’s Transition Team. His new book, Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming the Lives of Children (Public Affairs 2011) examines promising policy innovations that span the first generation of children’s lives. Excerpts and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The American Prospect and The Nation.
From the beginning of his career, as a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education, children’s issues have been his passion. The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics (Harvard 2007) emerged from his spending several years crisscrossing the country, crouching in pre-k classrooms and nurseries across the country and talking with experts in the field Excerpts appeared in leading newspapers and magazines including the New York Times Sunday Magazine and the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine; opinion pieces ran in the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. The book was chosen as a San Francisco Chronicle 2007 “best book” and received the Association of American Publishers Award for Excellence.
Long committed to developing a new generation of public leaders, he is a recipient of Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Twice he was honored with the Gustavus Meyers Human Rights Award, for Learning by Heart: AIDS and America’s Communities and Our Town: Race, Housing and the Soul of Suburbia. He has written or edited 13 other books, including Shakespeare, Einstein and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education, Almost Home America's Love-Hate Relationship with Community, Our Town: Race, Housing and the Soul of Suburbia and Education Policy and Law. He has lectured at universities across the globe, among them Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Brown, NYU, Princeton, Chicago, UC-San Diego, Rutgers, Glasgow, Ben Gurion, Wellington, Melbourne, Trento, ITAM and McGill.
He is a graduate of Amherst College, and a former trustee of his alma mater, and Harvard Law School. He currently serves as a member of the board of Experience Corps and Friends of the Children. At the Goldman School of Public Policy at Berkeley, he launched the New Community Fund in order to promote greater student diversity, and has also underwritten a named scholarship.
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GSPP Working Paper: GSPP10-003 (April 2010)
African-American boys have long fared worse in school. This paper documents this achievement gap, then assesses a number of evidence-based strategies that hold promise of bridging that gap. Those strategies range from high-quality early education and skill-building reading programs to mentoring initiatives and interventions that address stereotype vulnerability. Much of the existing research has not isolated the effects on black males, and the paper offers new data that demonstrates those impacts. A sequence of interventions, which begin before kindergarten and continue during college, is recommended.
Articles, Citations and Events
KQED's Forum with Michael Krasny, May 13, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle, March 15, 2013
New York Times, February 9, 2013
March 8, 2011
February 12, 2008
June 14, 2007