Jason Bedrick on Religious Freedom and Private School Autonomy — The Learning Curve

This podcast was originally published on the The Learning Curve.

Bob and Cara talk with Jason Bedrick, EdChoice’s director of policy, about New York’s controversial “substantial equivalency” proposal that would give the state Department of Education oversight of school curricula at yeshivas and other private and parochial academies to ensure parity with their public school counterparts. Jason explores the historical roots of “substantial equivalency” statutes, and questions their compatibility with a free and pluralistic society. He points to European approaches to educational pluralism, and New York’s case, as bellwethers for the rest of the country. This battle is the subject of Jason’s forthcoming book with Jay Greene, Yeshivas vs. the State of New York: A Case Study in Religious Liberty and Education.

Stories of the Week: In Michigan, a new partnership model to improve struggling schools that serve 50,000 students puts the districts themselves in charge of managing their own turnaround plans instead of the state – can this strategy work? Is Texas’s cap on special education services an arbitrary and unfair denial in violation of federal disability laws, or a legitimate effort to limit classification of special needs students? A new report claims that teacher morale has fallen dramatically, from 50 percent in 2018 to 34 percent in 2019 – how can we change course?

Commentary of the Week: Erik Hanushek in Education Next, “Professionalizing Teaching and Winning the Salary Wars.

Tweet of the Week: Marilyn Muller ~ Dyslexia Advocate @1in5advocacy

Newsmaker Interview Guest:

Jason Bedrick is director of policy for EdChoice. Previously, Bedrick served as policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom. He also served as a legislator in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and was an education policy research fellow at the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy. Bedrick received his master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was a fellow at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government.

Twitter: @JasonBedrick

Next week’s guest: Steven Wilson, Founder and former CEO, Ascend Charter Schools

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