Pedro Noguera

America's urban schools and education policies are failing its most vulnerable students.

Expert on Public Education in America

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Pedro Noguera | Expert on Public Education in America
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

A dynamic speaker, Pedro Noguera is one of America’s most important voices for healthy public education, focusing on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in urban settings. He’s an expert on school reform, diversity, and the achievement gap—and he translates social theory into concise, direct language with emotional impact and intellectual rigor. 

Pedro Noguera is the Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. His research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA he served as a tenured professor and holder of endowed chairs at New York University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Berkeley. He also served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor.  


He is the author of 10 books and over 150 articles and monographs. His books include: City Schools and the American Dream, Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools, The Trouble With Black Boys … and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education, and Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap with A. Wade Boykin. His most recent book is Excellence Through Equity with Alan Blankstein.


Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets, and serves on the boards of numerous national and local organizations, including the Economic Policy Institute, the Young Women’s Leadership Institute, The After School Corporation, and The Nation Magazine. He is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society, was elected to the National Academy of Education, and is the recipient of many honors, including awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, from the National Association of Secondary Principals, and from the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.    


“Pedro far exceeded our already high expectations! He is knowledgeable and speaks with conviction while not afraid to speak the uncomfortable truth. Pedro's delivery quickly grabbed the attention of all listeners and left everyone with the desire to go back to their individual worlds and create positive change. The goal of our Diversity Conference is to educate our employees and encourage them to use their knowledge to continue the conversation on diversity and to do something different. Pedro captured this goal and showed attendees why it is important to act and not just watch.”

Johns Hopkins University Diversity Leadership Conference

Speech Topics

Diversity & Race
Challenging Racial Inequality in Our Schools

As a leading urban sociologist, Noguera examines how schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment. What are the challenges they face in providing safe, academically rewarding environments? What is the state of race relations, racial inequality? What is the role of diversity? What is the impact of violence, parents, and school vouchers? What factors promote student achievement? Which detract from it? What is the impact of immigration and migration? A realistic, hopeful speaker, Noguera shows you the hurdles we face in providing equal education to all—and then unveils the solutions that are already working to overcome them.

Creating Conditions for Academic Excellence What it Takes to Leave No Child Behind
In this talk, America’s leading expert on public education tackles the growing issue of the academic achievement gap in American schools, giving examples of failed policy strategies as well as successful ones to break down why our education system is failing, and how we can fix it. To build a school system where no child is left behind, we must focus on creating schools where a child’s race or social class is no longer a predictor for their performance. Why is the growing achievement gap between the best schools and the worst ones a glaring societal problem? What success stories can we turn to as examples of a better system? And, most importantly, is a massive reshaping of our public schools even possible? With infectious enthusiasm and passion, Noguera shares his vision for the school system of the future, and explains why we must demand it for today.