Nora Reikosky

PhD Candidate in Education & Political ScienceUniversity of Pennsylvania | @norareikosky


I am a joint education and political science PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania in the Education, Culture, and Society division of the Graduate School of Education and the political theory department in the School of Arts and Sciences.

I examine individual and corporate philanthropy as an (insufficient) mechanism of redistribution or redress that exposes tensions—including plutocracy—contained within liberal democracies.

Using empirical political theory, American Political Development, American Political Economy, and philosophical inquiry, my work explores the impact and stakes of privatization and marketization in public education, particularly where it intersects with workforce readiness efforts to educate students for future economic participation.

In my research I ask:

1) how do wealthy private actors—philanthropic and corporate actors, in particular—influence the priorities and purpose of education?

2) what is the relationship between private actors and the elevation of preparation for future economic participation as a primary purpose for public K-12 education?

3) what tensions are produced by the involvement of plutocratic actors in public education when such actors are not subject to democratic accountability?