Education Leader Chester Finn’s Sprawling Q&A on Modern Schooling

Chester Finn, onetime Maryland State Board of Education leader and member of the Kirwan Commission, engaged with Rick Hess of Education Week for a far-ranging Q&A discussion on contemporary issues in education.

Book cover courtesy of Princeton University Press

Education Week, an online site focusing on school policies of all sorts, hosts an intriguing and multi-topic interview with Chester Finn. Mr Finn has been a national figure on education policy for many years, but is known to his fellow Marylanders for two specific capacities — his tenure as a leader on Maryland’s State Board of Education, and more recently as a member of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, the panel that ultimately developed the Blueprint for Maryland education initiative.

In his discussion with Education Week‘s Rick Hess, Dr. Finn talked about trends and debates in public education, including school choice initiatives and debates over testing.

On “excellence” as a motivator in the education sphere, he offered these comments:

I generally view “excellence” in education as a relentless push to maximize student learning—for all kids, including the very bright and those who move at a slower pace, certainly including kids from every sort of background. There’s a meritocratic element to it, but there’s also a strong push for accelerating everyone to the max.

Read the full interview with “Troublemaker” Chester Finn on the Education Week website.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties