How did vouchers and charter schools become key elements in the education reform agenda in the United States?

My guest today, Professor of Education Policy at the University of Illinois, Chris Lubienski, speaks about the rise of policy orchestration among a network of private and non-profit actors and what this means for democratic decision making.

His research shows how Philanthropic Foundations, such as the Gates and Walton Family Foundations, and think tanks, such as the Brookings Institute and RAND corporation, have come to promote a common agenda that has helped propel vouchers and charters into the national spotlight.

Professor Lubienski explores the changing structures of educational policy making in the United States, and argues that the contracting out of policy making to actors such as Gates, Brookings, and RAND has resulted in the privatization of public policy making.

You can follow Prof. Lubienski on twitter: @Club_edu and read his article on policy orchestration.

Citation: Lubienski, Chris, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 2, podcast audio, July 20, 2016. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/chrislubienski/

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In our inaugural showFrank Adamson, Senior Policy and Research Analyst at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, discusses his new book, Global Educational Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment influence Education Outcomes (Routledge, 2016), which he co-edited with Bjorn Astrand and Linda Darling-Hammond.

Frank's new book cover

Global Educational Reform offers a comparative look at the education policies and outcomes in six countries – Chile, Cube, Sweden, Finland, Canada, and the United States.  Frank and his co-editors selected these countries because collectively they span a range of education policy approaches – from neoliberal approaches that emphasize school vouchers to social democratic approaches that emphasize government’s responsibility for education.