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An increasing number of Michigan families are exercising choice within the public education system. More than 300,000 students attend either a charter school or another public school across district lines, most often through Schools of Choice. While there has been much debate about how school choice is working in Michigan, the voices of parents seeking educational alternatives have largely not been included in the discussion.

A transcript of this event is available here.

Earlier this year, the Mackinac Center commissioned a survey of more than 800 Michigan parents who exercise public school choice. The survey sought to answer what motivates parents to select a different school, what helps them make the decision, and how satisfied they are with the experience.

As Lansing lawmakers consider how to give families greater access to suitable education options, careful thought should be given to the recorded views of parents and how they fit into the larger body of research on school choice in Michigan.


Joshua Cowen's current research focuses on teacher quality, student and teacher mobility, program evaluation and education policy. His work has been published in multiple scholarly journals and funded by a diverse array of philanthropies. He is currently co-editor of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis and a member of the Editorial Board at Education Finance and Policy. Cowen also is founding co-director of the Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC), a new research lab dedicated to providing research with consequence to inform education policy in Michigan and beyond.


Ben DeGrow is the Mackinac Center’s director of education policy. He joined the Center in 2015 after a long stint at Colorado’s Independence Institute, where he provided expert analysis on school choice, school finance, collective bargaining and education employment policies. He authored numerous policy reports and opinion-editorials for various newspapers and other publications, and regularly appeared on radio and television and before legislative committees.


Dan Quisenberry serves as the President of MAPSA. Dan is a veteran communicator with more than 20 years experience in governmental affairs, policy development, and business management. As President, Dan oversees all aspects of the association that promotes, protects and represents Michigan Charters. A graduate of Michigan State University, Dan began his career working at the State Chamber of Michigan. He joined MAPSA in 1997 after six years as General Manager and Legal Administrator for a leading Michigan Law firm. MAPSA currently represents more than 90% of charter schools in Michigan and is recognized as the leading advocacy organization on behalf of charter schools in the state.


Lunch is free and is included with reservations. Please register online here

WHEN: Thursday, September 14, 2017
  11:30 a.m. - Check-in and lunch available
  Noon to 1:00 p.m. - Program with Q&A
WHERE: Radisson at the Capitol
  111 N Grand Ave
  Lansing, MI 48933

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us at 989-698-1905 or events@mackinac.org.

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