Thursday, March 26, 2015
Progressive Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

A discussion with CRPE's Paul T. HIll and Ashley E. Jochim about their new book, A Democratic Constitution for Public Education.

8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Breakfast will be provided.

Progressive Policy Institute
5th Floor Media and Conference Center
1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, D.C.

RSVP here to attend this event.

David Osborne, Director, Project on Reinventing America’s Schools, PPI
Abigail Smith, former deputy mayor for education, Washington, D.C.
Andy Smarick, Bellwether Partners, author of The Urban School System of the Future

The American education system needs reform. Paul Hill, founder of the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) at the University of Washington, has spent 20 years preaching the superiority of education systems in which those who govern (typically school boards and superintendents) do not operate schools directly but contract with independent organizations, such as charter schools, to operate them. Now he and his colleague Ashley Jochim, a researcher at CRPE who focuses on choice and education governance, have authored a book describing a model of governance for such “portfolio districts.”

The University of Chicago Press describes their new book this way:

"American’s education system faces a stark dilemma: it needs governmental oversight, rules and regulations, but it also need to be adaptable enough to address student needs and the many different problems that can arise at any given school—something that large educational bureaucracies are notoriously bad at. Paul T. Hill and Ashley E. Jochim offer here a solution that is brilliant for its simplicity and distinctly American sensibility: our public education system needs a constitution.”

Hill and Jochim propose civic education councils—democratic bodies that would not operate schools but would contract with school operators. They lay out a series of checks and balances, to be included in state education law, that would prevent capture by special interests and keep the focus on meeting the needs of students.