John B. King Jr. on Repairing Racial Disparities in Schools

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

How do we dismantle systemic obstacles to equality in our education systems? Former Education Trust President and CEO and former US Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. shares his journey in education and his belief that equity in education is core to equity in society: “The education system is inequitable at every level and gives the least to the kids who need the most. If our education system was more equitable, we would have a more equitable society,” states King. “[The recently-passed Child Tax Credit] gives me hope that maybe we’re coming to a place of greater public understanding of the role the government has to play in ensuring equality of opportunity,” he says.

Resources and Mentions:

John B. King Jr.

John B. King Jr.

President and CEO // The Education Trust
John B. King Jr. is a leading voice in education with experience as a teacher, principal, and leader of schools and school systems. He was most recently the president and CEO of The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps in education. King served in President Barack Obama’s cabinet as the 10th U.S. Secretary of Education.
Robert Simmons

Robert Simmons

Managing Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion // Share Our Strength
Robert Simmons is the managing director of diversity, equity & inclusion at Share Our Strength. Simmons has led numerous diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in higher education and city government including working as chief of innovation and research for the District of Columbia Public School system and serving as the vice president for strategy and innovation for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
Rep. Mike Thompson

Rep. Mike Thompson

U. S. Representative
Congressman Mike Thompson represents California's 5th Congressional District. First elected in 1998, Thompson is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Chairman of the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee, senior member of the Health Subcommittee and Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Thompson is the co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Wine Caucus, which consists of more than 117 bipartisan Members of Congress committed to protecting the interests of the wine community from grape to glass.

The Education Trust

The Education Trust is a national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families. Through research and advocacy, Ed Trust supports efforts that expand excellence and equity in education from preschool through college, increase college access and completion particularly for historically underserved students, engage diverse communities dedicated to education equity, and increase political and public will to act on equity issues.