This mini-course focuses on alternatives to public schools in the United States.

There has been a rapid expansion of school choice in U.S. education. Charter schools now serve over five percent of the public school population, voucher programs have been introduced in many states, and digital education has captured the attention of educators across the country. What is the theoretical basis for these innovations? How effective are the early initiatives? How do parents decide what is best for their children? And how do all of these options affect the students who remain in traditional public schools?

With the help of several scholars and participants in these new ventures, we will discuss the ways in which these school choice initiatives are re-shaping U. S. education.

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This mini-course contains five lectures, with most lectures divided into three videos. The mini-courses also includes assigned readings, discussion forums, and assessments.

This is the fourth mini-course in a four-course sequence. View other modules of this course:

Saving Schools: History, Politics, and Policy in U.S. Education , Mini-Course 1: History and Politics of U.S. Education

Saving Schools: History, Politics, and Policy in U.S. Education, Mini-Course II: Teacher Policies

Saving Schools: History, Politics, and Policy in U.S. Education, Mini-Course III: Accountability and National Standards

Meet The Author

Paul E. Peterson

Paul E. Peterson

Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government

Paul Peterson is the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government in the Department of Government at Harvard University. He directs the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and is the editor-in-chief of Education Next, a journal of opinion and research.

He received his PhD in political science from the University of Chicago. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education, he has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the German Marshall Foundation, and the Center for Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is an author or editor of over 30 books, four of which have been identified as the best work in its field by the American Political Science Association.

Peterson is a member of the independent review panel advising the US Department of Education's evaluation of the No Child Left Behind law and a member of the Hoover Institution's Koret Task Force of K-12 Education at Stanford University. The Editorial Projects in Education Research Center reported that Peterson's studies on school choice and vouchers have been among the country's most influential studies of education policy.


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