No More Know Nothing Laws: School Choice in Massachusetts

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No More Know Nothing Laws: School Choice in Massachusetts

Pioneer Institute hosts event with national education reform experts Kevin Chavous and Jay Greene, releases new research on Catholic and Jewish Schools

BOSTON, MA – Two of the country’s most persuasive education reform advocates, Kevin Chavous and Jay Greene, will address a Pioneer Institute forum, “No More Know Nothing Laws: School Choice in Massachusetts,” on Thursday, March 15th from 9-12, at the Hyatt Regency Boston. The event is co-sponsored by the Black Alliance for Educational Options, Democrats for Education Reform, The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, and Harvard University’s Program on Education Policy and Governance.

Four Models of Catholic Schooling in Massachusetts

Kevin P. Chavous is a nationally recognized leader in education reform, a former D.C. City Councilor, current Board Chairman of the Black Alliance for Educational Options and Democrats for Education Reform, and author of the recently released book, Voices of Determination: Children that Defy the Odds. Chavous has worked tirelessly to establish and secure funding for D.C.’s successful Opportunity Scholarship program, a popular initiative which enables low-income students trapped in the city’s failing public education system to attend private and parochial schools. The D.C. voucher program faces funding cuts for the second year in a row.

Jay P. Greene, who will introduce Chavous, is one of the nation’s foremost academic experts on school choice and expanding educational options for underserved subgroups, including special education students. Greene is the Department Head and 21st Century Endowed Chair in Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. He is the author of Education Myths, contributing editor of EducationNext, and maintains an influential education policy blog,

“We have a major urban district in Lawrence that has continued to fail the city’s students academically and produce dropout rates in excess of a third of its students,” says Jim Stergios, Executive Director of Pioneer Institute. “Why we insist on more of the same top-down strategies to fix the schools, which have not worked, is beyond me. Families there need options–and they need them now.”

The keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion on school choice in the Bay State. The panel will be moderated by Tom Finneran, WRKO radio talk show host and former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The panel will reflect diverse opinions and points of view, and will include:

Charles Glenn, Professor, Boston University School of Education
Scott Jensen, Senior Advisor, Alliance for School Choice
Tom Gosnell, President, American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts
Norma Shapiro, Board member, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts

Following the event, Mr. Chavous will be available for a book signing: Voices of Determination: Children that Defy the Odds.

At the event, Pioneer will release two new research studies, Four Models of Catholic Schooling in Massachusetts, authored by Dr. Cara Stillings Candal of Boston University, and Rhode Island Jewish Day Schools and Scholarship Tax Credits, by Jason Bedrick, a former state legislator from New Hampshire.