Competition, Choice, and the Structure of Public Education

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On July 25, 1996, Pioneer Institute held a forum that focused on the state and direction of the Boston Public School System. The forum was co-sponsored by the Boston Private Industry Council. Our panelists represented viewpoints that ranged from a positive appraisal of the city’s current school reforms, to the opinion that only a fundamental restructuring of the system can bring real progress. Though the panelists have obvious policy differences, they share one characteristic: each is a Boston parent. Our panelists included:
James Peyser(keynote), Pioneer Institute executive director and member of the State Board of Education
Neil Sullivan, executive director, the Boston Private Industry Council
Kristen McCormack, charter school founder and former head of Federated Dorchester Neighborhood Houses
Edwin Melendez, member of the Boston School Committee and director of the Mauricio Gaston Institute at the University of Massachusetts/Boston In the following pages, Pioneer Institute has reproduced an edited transcript of the forum.

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