School Choice: The Role of the Constitution and the Courts in Improving Education

Monday, November 2, 2015 at 4 p.m.

Free for Members • $7 teachers & students • $10 public
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Does the Constitution guarantee an “equal education” to every child? What do the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions say about school choice, teacher tenure, standardized testing, and more? The Center hosts two conversations exploring these questions.

In the first discussion, education policy experts—Donna Cooper of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, Mark Gleason of the Philadelphia School Partnership, Deborah Gordon Klehr of the Education Law Center, and Ina Lipman of the Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia—examine the state of Philadelphia public education, what an “equal education” in Philadelphia would look like, and their specific proposals for getting there. They also explain what, if anything, the Pennsylvania state constitution says about these questions, and how state government interacts with local government in setting education policy. Kristen Graham, education reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer, moderates.

The keynote presentation features Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, who offers his perspective on the issues facing Philadelphia schools.


In the second discussion, James Finberg of Altshuler Berzon and Joshua Lipshutz of Gibson Dunn—two attorneys involved in Vergara v. California, a landmark dispute over the legality of teacher retention policies—present the best arguments on both sides and discuss what’s next in the case. They also explain what the U.S. Constitution and major Supreme Court cases like Brown v. Board of EducationSan Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez and Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 say about education and our national debates. Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the Center, moderates.

School Choice:Does the Constitution guarantee an “equal education” to every child?          


School Choice keynote presentation by Dr. William R. Hite, Jr., Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia


School Choice: Legality of teacher retention policies      



Event & Parking Information

Registration is recommended for all programs. Call 215-409-6700 or CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.

Please note programs are subject to change; call the National Constitution Center or check our website for updated information. National Constitution Center programs begin promptly and latecomers may not be admitted.

Parking availability at the National Constitution Center’s garage will be posted on our website two weeks prior to each event. Please check back soon for parking information.




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