Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Information

10 Geo. Mason U. C.R. L.J. 107 (1999-2000)


The "Education Reform at the Crossroads" Conference's four panels tackled the education-reform and school-choice questions from a variety of perspectives—one panel, led by Cleveland's indefatigable councilwoman and education revolutionary Ms. Fannie Lewis, explored the history and increasingly visible politics of the school-choice debate—in particular, the marked increase in support for school choice among African Americans"—while another group focused on the constitutionality of including religious schools in voucher programs and on the historical connection between anti-Catholic nativism and the common-school movement. A third panel discussed framing school-choice as a "civil rights issue" and the fourth—which included political scientist and education researcher John Witte and Brother Bob Smith, the president of Milwaukee's legendary Messmer High School—addressed more specifically the available evidence of the success—or lack of it—of school-choice programs and charter schools.

The George Mason Civil Rights Law Journal has done a service by re-printing some of the statements given at the "Education Reform at the Crossroads" Conference. The diversity of views these statements reflect, and the variety of approaches the different speakers took to the topic, made the Conference, and make this issue of the Journal, a valuable addition to the education-reform debate.


Reprinted with permission of George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal.

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