Skip Navigation

Robert G. Holland

Robert Holland, a journalist and author who has championed school choice throughout his career, is a Heartland Institute Senior Fellow addressing education policy.

As a senior fellow with the Lexington Institute (a Washington, DC-area think tank) from 1999 to 2006, Holland specialized in education reform driven by consumer choice. His book on teacher preparation, To Build a Better Teacher: The Emergence of a Competitive Education Industry, was published by Praeger Paperbacks in 2004.

During his 1992-99 tenure as op-ed page editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Holland also wrote an award-winning column on education-related topics. His 1995 book, Not With My Child, You Don't, examined the parents' revolt against national school restructuring. In 1998, he was the editor of a special issue of Crisis magazine, Crisis in Education, which featured articles by many of the nation's leading proponents of market-based education reform.

Holland won the 1992 H.L. Mencken award in the category of Best Editorial or Op-Ed Column in the nation. The Free Press Association gives the award to journalists who use First Amendment freedoms to question authority and to expose violations of individual rights. In 1975, Holland also won the International Reading Association's Print Media Award for outstanding reporting in the field of reading.

Holland has given talks on education issues at many locations. Among them are: Windsor Castle (England), Toronto, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Birmingham, Topeka, Charleston (South Carolina), Atlanta, Raleigh, Harvard University, Howard University, the University of Virginia, Minneapolis, Orlando, Lexington (Kentucky), Washington, DC, and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

An honors graduate of Washington and Lee University, Holland began his newspaper career as chief of a 10-county news bureau in Southside Virginia. There he covered the national story of Prince Edward County's closing of its public schools to avoid court-ordered desegregation. He wrote a book, The Story of the Prince Edward Free Schools (Michie Press, 1964), on how President John F. Kennedy and Virginia leaders cooperated in opening private schools to fill the education void for the county's deprived black children until the impasse was resolved. Subsequently, Holland went to Richmond to serve as the Times-Dispatch's education editor and columnist and later moved into editorial writing.

Holland and his wife, Allyne, co-authored The Student Journalist and the Literary Magazine, a guidebook for students and teachers organizing literary magazines (New York: Richards Rosen Press, 1970). Holland has been a School Reform News contributing editor, and his articles have appeared in dozens of newspapers from Washington, DC to Honolulu, as well as in journals as diverse as the Howard University Law Journal, Policy Review, and Education Week.

Recent Articles and Publications

view all by this author
December 5, 2019
By Robert G. Holland
There is a lot to be said for students having the opportunity to write research papers or develop projects independently. But first they should have a base of knowledge from which to proceed.
October 22, 2019
By Robert G. Holland
Now that summer has ended and classrooms have opened across the country, a spotlight shines on the latest research showing the value of parents being able to choose the best education for their children.
October 9, 2019
By Robert G. Holland
For the past year, South Carolina lawmakers have focused on a major education reform plan. Unfortunately, their plan will likely not include the most significant education reform possible: school choice.
October 8, 2019
By Robert G. Holland
Instead of mental health days, Oregon should try mental health school transfers.
July 13, 2010
By Robert G. Holland
If Horry County's school board gave a 90-day conditional approval to the Palmetto Academy for Learning Motorsports Charter School because it wants to nail down details before issuing a charter, that is fair enough. ("School plan moves ahead," July 7.
June 21, 2010
By Robert G. Holland
If state Board of Education chair Wanda Barrs is correct in her assertion that the state’s teachers and students will be relieved to find many elements of Georgia’s standards in the new Common Core national education standards, where does
June 14, 2010
By Robert G. Holland
If any doubt remained that the American Educational Research Association is about advocacy rather than objective research, its leaders ended all questions at the AERA's recent annual meeting in Denver ("Education-Research Group Puts Itself on the Border
May 31, 2010
By Robert G. Holland
The refusal by Virginia Gov. Robert F.

2018 By the Numbers

See what sets Heartland apart:
82% of state elected officials read Heartland publications
of state elected officials read one or more Heartland newspapers "sometimes" or "always."
45% of elected officials say Heartland led to a change in policy
of state elected officials say a Heartland publication influenced their opinions or led to a change in public policy.
3.2 Million
the number of times Heartland's six podcasts were downloaded in 2018
184 issues
of weekly e-newsletters sent to subscribers across the country
158 events
that Heartland hosted, attended, or spoke at, reaching over 34,000 guests in 2018.
100,000 fans
on Facebook posting and reposting over 1 million times a week