Last week, we received eleven responses to Fordham’s third annual Wonkathon prompt on ESSA and parental choice:
Many observers credit No Child Left Behind with contributing to the significant expansion of parental choice in American education over the past fifteen years. It wasn't necessarily the school choice provisions contained in the law (which were limited and poorly designed), but what its passage did to shine a spotlight on school failure and create a sense that better schools were desperately needed.
Likewise, some in the school choice movement are disappointed that the new Every Student Succeeds Act doesn't do much legislatively to promote choice. But are they overlooking the law's potential? What do you think are the "sleeper provisions" of ESSA that might encourage the further expansion of parental choice, at least if advocates seize the opportunity?
This year’s posts offered a wide range of great ideas from some of the wonkiest wonks in education reform. The competition was close, but there can only be one Wisest Wonk.
Without further ado, the winner of Fordham’s 2016 Wonkathon is Christy Wolfe, whose “School choice and Section 1003(b): It's in there!” came in with 19 percent of the vote.
Jordan Posamentier’s “Waive the waivers” came in second with 18 percent.
And Claire Voorhees’s “Choosy states choose...choice!” came in third with 17 percent.
Thanks to all the participants for another great Wonkathon, and congratulations to this year’s Wisest Wonk, Christy Wolfe! You can re-read the individual responses below.
- “Choosy states choose...choice!” by Claire Voorhees
- “ESSA's hidden treasure” by Mike Magee
- “Follow the money: ESSA's weighted student funding pilots” by Matthew Joseph
- “Help Goldman Sachs profit off of at-risk teens” by Max Eden
- “More money, more outcomes” by Brian Kisida
- “School choice and Section 1003(b): It's in there!” by Christy Wolfe
- “Two great tastes that taste great together: Course access and direct student services” by Neil Campbell
- “Waive the waivers” by Jordan Posamentier
- “Why weighted funding matters for school choice” by Travis Pillow
- “Will states and parents seize ESSA's opportunities?” by Lesley Lavery
- “When it comes to choice, small grants can make a big difference" by Alex Medler