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Choosing Our Future: A Story of Opportunity in America
Irwin Kirsch, Henry Braun, Mary Louise Lennon, and Anita Sands


We wish to extend our deep appreciation to those who graciously contributed their thoughts and ideas to the ETS Opportunity in America initiative including members of our National Advisory Panel and the authors who contributed chapters to an edited volume titled The Dynamics of Opportunity:  Evidence and Perspectives. We also wish to acknowledge and thank those who provided thoughtful and incisive comments to the final draft of this report.  These individuals include  Brent Bridgeman, Michael Kane, Andrew Cherlin, T.J. Elliott, Chester Finn, Les Francis, and Richard Murnane.

Special thanks go to our colleagues at ETS and FutureView for their expertise and creativity, which contributed to the video, graphics, and interactive nature of this report.  These individuals include  David Hanrahan, Joe Fab, and Lauren Kleissas from FutureView and Phil Leung and Nicole Fiorentino from ETS.  Our thanks also go to George Barrett for the cover design and to Larry Hanover for his editorial assistance.

We are grateful for the support and interest in this initiative from members of the ETS Board of Trustees, and from senior officers and staff from ETS who attended many of the Opportunity in America seminars. These events provided a forum for members of the advisory panel and invited authors to share their thoughts about a variety of issues important to understanding the complex issues related to opportunity. The seminars would not have been a success without the insightful interviews conducted by Vice President and Chief Learning Officer T. J. Elliott and the direction and support of ETS staff including Debra Gonzales, Nick Sferra, Ramon Guzman, and their teams.

Our warmest appreciation goes to Walt MacDonald, ETS President and CEO, and Ida Lawrence, Senior Vice President for Research and Development, for their strong interest in, and ongoing support of, our efforts to gather and share what we have learned in a way that advances the national conversation about why we must take action and how best to do so.  We believe efforts to increase equality of opportunity are critical, not only for improving the lives of individual Americans and their children, but also for our country as a whole.

Irwin, Henry, Marylou, and Anita