Markets vs. Standards: Debating the Future of American Education

Policy Forum
April 16, 2008 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT


Featuring Sol Stern, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute; Gary Huggins, Director, Commission on No Child Left Behind, Aspen Institute; Andrew Coulson, Director, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute; and John Merrifield, Professor of Economics, University of Texas at San Antonio. Moderated by Ben Wildavsky, Senior Fellow in Research and Policy, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

A quarter century ago, A Nation at Risk shook the country and energized two education reform movements: school choice, and government‐​driven standards and accountability. For years, proponents of these reforms coexisted, even cooperated, but rifts have begun to appear. “Instructionists” now argue that markets without government standards are doomed to fail, while market reformers assail government standards as futile and anti‐​competitive. Please join our panelists as they debate the role of these reforms in fixing American education, 25 years after A Nation at Risk.