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REACH and Brookings Institution Panels Will Discuss How COVID-19 and the Election Have Impacted Education

The National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH) is excited to partner with the Brown Center for Education Policy at Brookings for an online event on Tuesday, December 15, 1:30-3:30 EST that will examine the changing landscape for U.S. school choice policy.

We are approaching the end of one of the most consequential years in the history of American education. Events that have defined 2020 for many Americans—the COVID-19 pandemic and the presidential election—will impact traditional public, charter, and private schools for years to come. This webinar will feature two panel discussions that explore how this time of transition and transformation is impacting schools and school choice policy.

Part 1 (1:30-2:30 EST): Why are schools responding so differently to COVID-19? A look at America’s schools, from urban to rural and public to private

The first panel will consider how U.S. schools have responded to COVID-19, including traditional public, charter, and private schools. Some have offered in-person instruction, while others offer remote or hybrid instruction. Some have worked to improve remote learning by providing devices to students and professional development for teachers, while others have not. Panelists will discuss why schools have responded in different ways to the pandemic and what research can tell us about how to improve school choice policies in the months and years ahead.

The following experts will join the discussion:

  • Moderator: Douglas N. Harris, Professor and Chair of Economics at Tulane University and Director of REACH
  • J.R. Green, Superintendent of Fairfield County Schools in South Carolina
  • Betheny Gross, Associate Director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education
  • Angélica Infante-Green, Commissioner of Education for Rhode Island
  • Terrence Martin, President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers

Part 2 (2:30-3:30 EST): The post-election school choice landscape
The second panel will consider what to expect for school choice reforms in the years ahead, especially considering the change in presidential administration. Panelists from all sides of the political spectrum will discuss what we can expect for school choice over the next four years, how research can help inform debates on the role of the federal government in education, and what under-the-radar issues in school choice deserve more attention.

The following panelists will join us for this important discussion:

  • Moderator: Jon Valant, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution
  • Jennifer Berkshire, host of the education podcast Have You Heard
  • James Blew, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education
  • Preston Green III, Professor of Urban Education at the University of Connecticut
  • Frederick Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute

Note: A representative from the Biden-Harris Transition Team was also invited.

RSVP here. Viewers can submit questions for speakers via email to or via Twitter at @BrookingsEd or by using #SchoolChoice.

For media inquiries or to get more information, contact Sharon Lurye:

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