Expert

Robert G. Holland

Senior Fellow, Education
Phone: 
312-377-4000

Robert Holland, a journalist and author who has championed school choice throughout his career, is a Heartland Institute Senior Fellow addressing education policy.

As a senior fellow with the Lexington Institute (a Washington, DC-area think tank) from 1999 to 2006, he specialized in education reform driven by consumer choice. His book on teacher preparation, To Build a Better Teacher: The Emergence of a Competitive Education Industry, was published by Praeger Paperbacks in 2004.

During his 1992-99 tenure as op-ed page editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Holland also wrote an award-winning column on education-related topics. His 1995 book, Not With My Child, You Don't, examined the parents' revolt against national school restructuring. In 1998, he was the editor of a special issue of Crisis magazine, Crisis in Education, which featured articles by many of the nation's leading proponents of market-based education reform.

Holland won the 1992 H.L. Mencken award in the category of Best Editorial or Op-Ed Column in the nation. The Free Press Association gives the award to journalists who use First Amendment freedoms to question authority and to expose violations of individual rights. In 1975, Holland also won the International Reading Association's Print Media Award for outstanding reporting in the field of reading.

Holland has given talks on education issues at many locations. Among them are: Windsor Castle (England), Toronto, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Birmingham, Topeka, Charleston (South Carolina), Atlanta, Raleigh, Harvard University, Howard University, the University of Virginia, Minneapolis, Orlando, Lexington (Kentucky), Washington, DC, and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

An honors graduate of Washington and Lee University, Holland began his newspaper career as chief of a 10-county news bureau in Southside Virginia. There he covered the national story of Prince Edward County's closing of its public schools to avoid court-ordered desegregation. He wrote a book, The Story of the Prince Edward Free Schools (Michie Press, 1964), on how President John F. Kennedy and Virginia leaders cooperated in opening private schools to fill the education void for the county's deprived black children until the impasse was resolved. Subsequently, Holland went to Richmond to serve as the Times-Dispatch's education editor and columnist and later moved into editorial writing.

Holland and his wife, Allyne, co-authored The Student Journalist and the Literary Magazine, a guidebook for students and teachers organizing literary magazines (New York: Richards Rosen Press, 1970). Holland has been a School Reform News contributing editor, and his articles have appeared in dozens of newspapers from Washington, DC to Honolulu, as well as in journals as diverse as the Howard University Law Journal, Policy Review, and Education Week.