24 Comments

Fabulous interview. I actually didn't recognize the name but was familiar with some of his research, like the piece about racial bias in police shootings.

Googled him, and he was suspended from Harvard in 2019 by.... Claudine Gay (a dean at the time), over sexual harassment claims. I can't help but suspect it was just retribution by Gay who had "sole discretion over Mr. Fryer’s punishment" (NYT), over his viewpoints, at the height of "Me Too".

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I completely agree with his statement that we need to figure out a way to identify and educate people with high potential. There is too much wasted talent.

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Such an enjoyable interview to listen to. Roland Fryer is a mensch.

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Two points:

1. God's chosen are economists. Writ large if economic principles are taught in an unbiased manner the world becomes clear.

2. I had a similar life experience as Professor Fryer. I know success is not dependent upon your family circumstances. You can rise above the ashes of those disadvantages and become anything.

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Excellent interview. Roland is not only brilliant but funny as well and it was a very insightful piece. Thank you Bari for continuing to fight the fight!!

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Great interview. He needs to write a lay person's version of his papers in addition to a memoir. Very insightful stuff.

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Outstanding interview and great Q&A from the audience. I don't expect the Free Press to knock every interview and article out of the park, but this one did.

Where else are you going to hear a lesbian, Jewish, liberal woman interview a black Harvard professor who, umm, tells it like he sees it? And backs up data analysis (which can be arranged to obfuscate actual facts but not in his case) with on the ground validation? And has that discussion in the first new university focused on finding and sharing the truth, wherever it may lead?

That's what discourse should be all about. Kudos to the Free Press for this one.

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Always a pleasure to listen to Professor Fryer. A brilliant, insightful, caustic economist, just what the doctor ordered! With the enormous challenges most inner-city schools are experiencing - only about 30% of Chicago Public Schools students meet their grade level requirements yet the mayor of the city wants to boost the neighborhood schools at the expense of selective enrollment schools - one would imagine that cities with failing schools would be running after Fryer with the open arms and open hearts. They don't...The question is why?

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This was definitely worth my time! Excellent! I didn’t know much about Roland and now I know he’s an inspiration. His depth of experience in life and how he’s applied it in his quest for truth in his career is really remarkable!

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Great to hear Roland's story. Inspiring.

I did want to interject to ask, "What exactly is your definition of 'talent'?" The word's meaning sounds, as used in this interview, like whatever it is that separates out those precious few among us who would succeed in a vanishingly small, elite selection of professions. The rest of the 95% or so of the population are left out of this narrow version of "talent."

It's the best and the brightest who got us into Vietnam, Iraq, the Covid school lockdown disaster. Some common sense street smarts might have worked more to our advantage than all of their degrees combined.

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Fryer's opinion piece in The NY Times that the Ivy's contribute some portion of their ample endowments each year to create 100 K-12 magnet schools nation-wide to promote equality of opportunity among poor kids is brilliant. I wish that this could have been covered as well. Nevertheless, a solid interview.

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Awesome interview, I also highly recommend the Roland Fryer interview on Econ Talk where he talks about education

https://www.econtalk.org/roland-fryer-on-educational-reform/

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Bari’s interviews are normally outstanding. She probes with a mix of grounding questions, allowing me to understand the situation and its facets and keep up with the guest’s expertise, and deeper ones that wrestle with seeming contradictions. She never hesitates to ask hard questions, but usually does so in a charming way. By contrast, I thought her interview of Fryer was too fawning – especially in the first 10-15 minutes. To me, Fryer came across as egotistical and too proud of his contrarianism. He’s obviously done great things, but he said himself that he could be an asshole and I could certainly see how he could come across that way. I think it would’ve been good for Bari to check him during the interview and talk much more about his controversial studies and what the data showed, rather than talk about how brave he was to publish them. I’ve long wanted to hear from Fryer, but I think this was a lost opportunity.

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Glad to hear about new academic opportunities.

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