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Event Summary

What do Americans think of the federal role in education? Given persistently low levels of public knowledge on key education policy issues, how much significance can policymakers ascribe to a public opinion poll? On Thursday afternoon, Paul DiPerna of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice kicked off an AEI Education event by detailing the methodology and major takeaways of the newly released Schooling in America Survey. The survey covered a wide range of education issues including public sentiment toward American education, topics involving school choice, and opinions of the Common Core initiative. DiPerna noted that Americans are twice as likely to support school choice as to oppose it, and that there are thus far mixed signals on the Common Core.
Conor Williams of the New America Foundation suggested that while some topics covered in the survey seemed to have less political divide, it is because they are not yet in the “political bloodstream.” Switching gears, Brittany Corona of the Heritage Foundation highlighted the rise of public sentiment toward school choice.
The tail end of the conversation addressed the future of education in politics and the potential policy implications. AEI’s Ramesh Ponnuru stressed that for education reform to continue being a significant US policy objective, policymakers need to convince the “vast American middle class” of the value of education reform.
–Max Eden

Event Description

On June 26, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice will release the results of its annual Schooling in America Survey, which measures public opinion, awareness, and knowledge of a range of K–12 education topics and reforms. It delves into the perceived direction of American K–12 education, education spending, the Common Core, charter schools, school vouchers, education savings accounts, and tax-credit scholarships.

Please join us for a presentation of the poll results, followed by an expert discussion of the survey’s implications for US K–12 education.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.


2:45 PM

3:00 PM
Brittany Corona, Heritage Foundation
Paul DiPerna,
Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
Ramesh Ponnuru,
Conor Williams,
New America Foundation

Michael Q. McShane, AEI

4:15 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Max Eden at [email protected], 202.862.5933.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Brittany Corona is a domestic policy research assistant at the Heritage Foundation. She conducts policy research on education, marriage and family, and welfare issues and writes for Heritage’s blog, Daily Signal. Corona was also a 2012 John Jay Institute fellow, Claremont Institute 2013 Publius Fellow, and 2013 Young Conservatives Coalition Fellow.

Paul DiPerna is research director for the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, which he joined in September 2006. DiPerna’s research interests include surveys and polling on K–12 education and school choice policies. He has developed and issued more than 20 state polls and other survey projects over the last four years. His other responsibilities include directing and managing all research projects commissioned by the foundation.

Michael Q. McShane is a research fellow in education policy studies at AEI. He is coauthor of “President Obama and Education Reform: The Personal and the Political” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012). His scholarship has been published by Education Finance and Policy and in various technical reports. He has contributed to more popular publications such as Education Next, The Huffington Post, National Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is coeditor of the book “Common Core Meets the Reform Agenda” (Teachers College Press, 2013) and author of the forthcoming “Education and Opportunity” (AEI Press, 2014). He began his career as an inner-city high-school teacher in Montgomery, Alabama.

Ramseh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, where he has covered national politics and public policy for 18 years. He is also a columnist for Bloomberg View. A prolific writer, he is the author of a monograph about Japanese industrial policy and a book about American politics and the sanctity of human life. At AEI, Ponnuru examines the future of conservatism, with particular attention to health care, economic policy, and constitutionalism.

Conor Williams is a senior researcher in the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation. His work addresses educational equity, bilingual education, and school choice. Before joining New America, he taught first grade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. His work has appeared in numerous publications including The Washington Post, New Republic, The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, and Talking Points Memo.

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