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logo for School Choice in the Post-Pandemic Era conference

October 8 — December 10, 2021

In the period just before the pandemic broke, steady growth in school choice had begun to stall. The political consensus that had generated charter, tax-credit scholarship, and voucher experiments was beginning to fragment.

But the direction of change shifted quickly with the onset of the pandemic. District-run schools diversified their approaches to education by shifting to online and hybrid instruction. Anxious parents also looked for alternatives to district-run schools. Many enrolled their children in charter and private schools or taught them at home. Neighborhood pods, tutors, and new approaches to digital learning suddenly became fashionable. Yet it remains unclear how lasting these developments will be. Is the choice sector expanding once again? Are policymakers and the public at large determined to alter the shape of American education? Is the meaning of school choice undergoing fundamental change? Or will the country’s education system return to traditional forms?

These are some of the questions explored in "School Choice in the Post-Pandemic Era," a virtual webinar series held from Oct. 8 to Dec. 10, 2021.

 

 

Agenda & Video

Moderators
Paul E. Peterson, Director, Program on Education Policy and Governance, Harvard University
Daniel Hamlin, Professor, University of Oklahoma

 

OCTOBER 8

Opening discussion

Jeb Bush, 43rd Governor of Florida

 

OCTOBER 15

What school options should families be offered in the post-pandemic era?

Panelists
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation for Teachers
Jay Greene, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation

 

OCTOBER 22

Is the school choice movement a house divided?

Panelists
Jim Blew, Co-founder, Defense of Freedom Institute (DFI)
Derrell Bradford, President, 50Can
Robert Enlow, President and CEO, EdChoice

 

OCTOBER 29

Does the Constitution require school choice?

Panelists
Michael Bindas, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice
Joshua Dunn, Professor, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Daniel Suhr, Managing Attorney, Liberty Justice Center

 

NOVEMBER 5

What is driving the demand for digital learning? Is digital learning effective?

Panelists
Mark Berends, Director, Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, University of Notre Dame
Jennifer Darling-Aduana, Assistant Professor, Georgia State University
Michael Horn, Distinguished Fellow, Clayton Christensen Institute

 

NOVEMBER 12

Is political support for school choice gaining or losing ground?

Panelists
Maureen Downey, Columnist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Beth Hawkins, Senior Writer and National Correspondent, The 74
Alisha Thomas Morgan, Former Georgia State Representative

 

NOVEMBER 19

What does the latest research tell us about school choice in the United States?

Panelists
Christopher Campos, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago
Marcus Winters, Associate Professor, Boston University
Patrick Wolf, Distinguished Professor of Education Policy and 21st Century Endowed Chair in School Choice, University of Arkansas

 

DECEMBER 3

How does choice in district schools work in practice?

Panelists
Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent, Dallas Independent School District
Robin Lake, Director, Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington

 

DECEMBER 10

What does the latest research tell us about school choice worldwide?

Panelists
Eric Bettinger, Professor, Stanford University
Harry Patrinos, Practice Manager, World Bank
Abhijeet Singh, Assistant Professor, Stockholm School of Economics

 

Participant Directory