Findings from the 2016 Schooling in America Survey

On October 6, EdChoice will release its annual “Schooling in America” survey, which measures public opinion, awareness, and knowledge of K–12 education topics and reforms. Featuring questions that address current issues in K–12 education policy, the survey will be useful to gauge the electorate’s opinions before the presidential election. This year’s report emphasizes millennials’ and gen Xers’ views of school choice, which are the demographics with the most parents of school-age children.

Please join us for a presentation of the findings followed by an expert panel discussion of the survey’s implications for teachers, students, parents, and K–12 education policy in America.

Join the conversation on social media with #SchoolingInAmerica.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page.


Speaker Biographies

Paul DiPerna is vice president of research and innovation for EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. His research interests include surveys and polling on K–12 education and school-choice reforms. He has developed and reported more than 30 state and national surveys. Mr. DiPerna oversees the research projects that EdChoice produces or commissions, and EdChoice has published more than 80 reports, papers, and briefs under his leadership. Previously, he served as the assistant director for the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. His six years at Brookings included projects evaluating the federal Blue Ribbon Schools Program and analyzing student achievement in charter schools. Mr. DiPerna was a research analyst for the first five issues of the Brown Center “Report on American Education” (2000–04). He also managed and coordinated the activities of the National Working Commission on Choice in K–12 Education (2001–05).

Nat Malkus is a research fellow in education policy studies at AEI, where he specializes in K–12 education. Specifically, he applies quantitative data to education policy. His work focuses on school finance, charter schools, school choice, and the future of standardized testing. Before joining AEI, Dr. Malkus was a senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research, where he led research teams analyzing national education data on topics such as how many college students take remedial courses, comparisons between charter and traditional public schools, and student achievement and graduation rates in schools undergoing turnaround reforms. Previously, he worked on a four-year experimental study to evaluate whether math coaches could help math teachers improve student performance. He has also taught advanced graduate statistics courses and quantitative policy analysis. Earlier, Dr. Malkus spent four years as a middle school teacher in Maryland.

Christine Matthews is president of Bellwether Research, a public opinion firm with policy, corporate, and political clients, including numerous clients focused on education policy and reform. She is also a partner at Burning Glass Consulting, a firm focused exclusively on female voters. Burning Glass was named a top firm to watch by The Washington Post and was featured in Elle magazine and other publications. A veteran of national and statewide political campaigns, Ms. Matthews worked with the Kasich for America Campaign and is active in several key 2016 US Senate races. Campaigns & Elections magazine named Ms. Matthews one of their top-50 influencers shaping campaigns and the future of the industry.

Andy Smarick is a resident fellow at AEI and a visiting scholar with the Johns Hopkins School of Education. He also serves as president of the Maryland State Board of Education. He has been an aide to members of state legislature and a member of Congress, served at the White House and US Department of Education, and helped lead a state department of education. Mr. Smarick is the author of “The Urban School System of the Future” (R&L Education, 2012), which argues for replacing traditional urban school districts with a true “system of schools.” He previously served as New Jersey’s deputy commissioner of education, the deputy assistant secretary at the US Department of Education, and an education aide at the White House Domestic Policy Council. Previously, he was a legislative assistant for a member of the US House of Representatives and several members of the Maryland state legislature. He has been recognized as a White House Fellow (2007–08), a Pahara Fellow (2010–11), and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He has served as a founding board member of 50CAN and as cofounder and chief operating officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Christy Wolfe is the senior policy adviser for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. She has more than 18 years of experience working on federal education policy, most recently as an independent consultant developing policy and writing for national education reform organizations and the US Chamber of Commerce. She visited her first charter school in 1998 as a congressional staffer and has been a strong advocate of charter schools ever since. Ms. Wolfe spent eight years at the US Department of Education, serving as the associate deputy secretary for policy. In this role, she managed policy development and implemented regulations for all federal elementary, secondary, and special education programs. Ms. Wolfe was also a professional staff member for the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and the Workforce, where she worked on major education legislation, including the No Child Left Behind Act.

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