Member Since 2009

Chester E. Finn, Jr.


Chester Finn, Jr. is a scholar, educator and public servant who has been at the forefront of the national education debate for 35 years. Born and raised in Ohio, he received his doctorate from Harvard in education policy. He has served, inter alia, as a Professor of Education and Public Policy at Vanderbilt, Counsel to the U.S. ambassador to India, Legislative Director for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education for Research and Improvement. A senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and chairman of Hoover’s Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, Finn is also President of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. He serves on the board of several other organizations concerned with primary-secondary schooling. The author of 16 books and more than 400 articles, his work has appeared in such publications as The Weekly Standard, Christian Science Monitor, Commentary, The Public Interest, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Education Week, Harvard Business Review and Boston Globe. Dr. Finn is the recipient of awards from the Educational Press Association of America, Choice Magazine, the Education Writers Association, and the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. He holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Colgate University. He and his wife, Renu Virmani, a physician, have two grown children and two adorable little granddaughters.  They live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Published Articles & Media

Faulty Engineering

The diversity of values within American society renders public schools ill-equipped to produce the engaged citizens our democracy requires

Paying Teachers Properly

That the uniform salary “schedule” for teachers is obsolete and dysfunctional is a truth widely accepted but rarely challenged.

Lost at Sea

Early 20th century Progressive reformers established elected school boards as a means of shielding...

Tread on Me—but Lightly

The Era of Big Government Is Complicated

Book Alert

What School Boards Can Do: Reform Governance for Urban Schools. Donald McAdams (Teachers College Press). Don...

Things Are Falling Apart

Can the center find a solution that will hold?

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