Education & Economics Harvard discussion

On Wednesday, May 6, I joined fellow Harvard alumni at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago for an evening with Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust that included an interactive discussion called “Mapping Opportunity and the Capacity for Change.”

The discussion was facilitated by led by Paul J. Finnegan, with speakers Raj Chetty, professor of economics, and Bridget Terry Long, professor of education and economics.

The professors spoke eloquently about the interactions between education and economics, referring to continuing educational disparities based on socioeconomic factors.

They pointed out that where children grow up, the affluence of their families and the quality of their early education still have strong impact on their future education and careers. Much potential is missed, they explained, when talented young people from low-income families aren’t aware of their options or how to go about the process of entering higher education.

They also spoke about Harvard’s research and initiatives for creating and retaining great teachers who will have a positive influence on children, including initiatives with partners such as H&R Block.

Bringing together experts from education and economics is a wonderful way to evaluate and resolve these issues, because the collaboration allows a broader perspective and increased problem-solving ideas.

I was delighted to attend the evening with my co-chairs of the Chicago chapter of Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, Anthony Chirchirillo (CEO of Chirch Global Manufacturing) and Ben Bornstein (President of Prospero Capital Management).