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 philanthropy—by philanthropic foundations and corporationsas an (insufficient) mechanism of redistribution or redress that exposes tensions within liberal democracies otherwise committed to ideals of egalitarianism.

Using empirical political theory, American Political Development, American Political Economy, and philosophical inquiry, my work explores the impact and stakes of private actors in public institutions. My focus in on the privatization of public education in particular, where privatization intersects with efforts to educate students for career readiness and work.

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 coalescence around workforce training and career readiness as a primary purpose of public K-12 education in the United States?

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