Issues & Ideas Luncheon, June 2001

Listen to Expert Speakers Over Lunch

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is pleased to host monthly Issues & Ideas Luncheons in Lansing. These luncheons, which feature experts on a diverse array of subjects, offer a forum that enhances and broadens the policy debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals-and suggestions for achieving them. These luncheons, designed to reinforce policy-makers' understanding of the principles of sound economics and the free society, offer a unique opportunity that is open to all legislative staff, policy specialists, and other interested friends.

Legislative staff, policy specialists, and other interested friends are cordially invited to our



"Education Reform: Lessons from Arizona"


Mary Gifford
Director of Leadership Development
Mackinac Center of Public Policy

DATE:   Wednesday, June 6, 2001
TIME:   12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
PLACE: The Parthenon Restaurant
              227 S. Washington Square, Lansing
COST:   $5.00

Michigan is known nationally as an education reform leader in the area of charter schools, but a constitutional ban on education tax credits impedes further efforts to provide students with even more educational choices.  This unfortunate fact means that other states, such as Arizona, have moved far beyond Michigan in the vital and popular issue of education reform.  Arizona, for example, is one of only four states to offer education tax credits.  Arizona students also are benefiting from a wider application of charter schools, according to a study of standardized test scores that shows charter students learning more than their traditional public school counterparts. 

                Join us as Mackinac Center Director of Leadership Development Mary Gifford discusses the lessons Michigan can learn from Arizona's experience with charter schools and education tax credits.  Ms. Gifford comes to us from the Goldwater Institute, a Phoenix-based public policy research organization with which the Mackinac Center is partnering to advance school choice issues.  A leading expert on charter school operation and policy, Ms. Gifford served for three years as vice president of the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools.  Her wide-ranging research and published papers include the areas of desegregation, class size, school facility financing, value-added assessment, school finance reform, ethnic makeup of schools of choice, teacher issues, and education tax credits. 

The luncheon begins promptly at 12:00 noon.  Please make reservations for yourself and any guests by noon on June 4, 2001, by calling the Mackinac Center at (989) 631-0900 or send your e-mail to:

The Purpose of the Issues & Ideas Luncheon

The nature of the legislative process is such that public policy debates are often framed by specific constituencies and political pragmatism rather than sound principles.  By offering a forum for wide-ranging discussion, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy hopes to broaden the debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals-and how to achieve them.  The best interests of Michigan citizens can only be served when legislation incorporates our best understanding of legal, economic, psychological, moral, and scientific principles.


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