Harold L. “Bud” Hodgkinson, who tracked America’s diversifying school population for more than 25 years, has died. He was 85.
Hodgkinson dedicated his life to documenting and analyzing the demographic changes in American schools and how those schools would need to adapt to help a diversifying student population meet its potential. Through a dozen books, hundreds of articles, and countless lectures, Hodgkinson painted predictions of changes in the American classroom that still echo today.
He wrote in 1995 that the United States was becoming “a true nation of the world.” At the time, he thought schools would reach 50 percent nonwhite students by 2025 (a conservative estimate, as it turned out). He warned then that the inequitable distribution of both the students and the resources to support them could drive achievement gaps, but he was also optimistic about America’s willingness to nurture continuing waves of immigrant students.
In 1987, as industries that supported students without a high school diploma continued to crash, Hodgkinson led a coalition of 11 major education groups that called for more urgent and comprehensive approaches to preventing students from dropping out of high school.
He was also a teacher and administrator, as well as a dean of Bard College. He served in leadership roles for a number of education organizations, including the Gerald R. Ford administration’s National Institute of Education and the Institute for Educational Leadership. He also edited several journals, including the Harvard Educational Review and the Journal of Higher Education.
In 1989, Hodgkinson was one of three Americans awarded the title of distinguished lecturer by the National Science Foundation.
A version of this article appeared in the March 23, 2016 edition of Education Week as Obituary