The 2016 US Presidential Election: Spectacle or Horror Show?

August 17, 2016

UiB / SLATE Open Public Lecture

Featuring: David L. Kirp

When: 16:00-18:00, 7 September 2016

Where: Egget Auditorium, Studentsenteret, Parkveien 1

Recorded version of lecture







David L. Kirp
Professor of the Graduate School, University of California at Berkeley
Senior Fellow, Learning Policy Institute
Contributing Writer, New York Times
Twitter: @DavidKirp



The rhetoric in the forthcoming US Presidential Election is arguably the most contaminated ever. The mudslinging among the principal candidates of the nation’s highest office has reached unprecedented levels. Hillary Clinton believes that Trump is the most dangerous man ever to run for office (on Charlie Rose 18 July), while Donald Trump has labelled his opponent a monster (in rally speech 5 August).


The battle is being fought on all fronts. New York Post has endorsed Trump and says that Trump speaks for the forgotten America. At the same time New York Daily News warns that heaven help America if Clinton were to fail in her bid for office.


In this talk, professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, David Kirp will discuss the ongoing election campaign, also giving some insights to what is happening behind the scenes in a US presidential race. Ample time will be given for Q&A with the audience.


DAVID KIRP is a New York Times columnist and was a member of President Obama’s transition team. He is an informal adviser to the Clinton campaign. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, a contributing writer to the New York Times Sunday Review and a senior scholar at the Learning Policy Institute. In his seventeen books and hundreds of articles, he has mainly focused on education and youth policy, spanning the age range from cradle to college and career.


Attend this lecture virually - access a recorded version here.


Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America's Schools, his most recent book, chronicles how a poor urban school district has brought Latino immigrant children into the education mainstream and what nationwide lessons can be drawn from this success. It was selected as the outstanding book of the year by the American Education Research Association and selected as one of the forty outstanding books on education in the past 50 years (Education Classics, 2016).


A former trustee of Amherst College, he has worked with policymakers at all levels of
government, as well as foundations and nonprofits; he has lectured at a host of universities and
delivered the keynote address at many national conferences. In 2008-9, he served on President
Barack Obama's transition team, where he drafted policy agendas for early education and
community schools. Earlier in his career he was the founding director of the Harvard Center for
Law and Education and an associate editor at the at the Sacramento Bee. Currently he serves on the boards of Friends of the Children and Experience Corps East Bay, is on the policy advisory council of the Economic Policy Institute, the Campaign for College Opportunity and Common Sense Media; he is also a writing tutor for middle and high school students at 826 Valencia.


Lecture poster


Read the interview in Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian)

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