Dad was on board with school choice, and it turns out that he and Dr. Harris discussed this when Dr. Harris was dad’s student. I enjoyed the nuance that Dr. Harris brought to the topic as well – something deeper than “markets are good” or “government is good.” Around the 22:00 mark he goes into the challenges in getting benefits of an free market in education:
As always, the stories at the start of the lecture are a highlight for my family and I, and I’m grateful to all the people at Lawrence Tech for organizing it each year.
The 2018 Harold Hotelling Memorial Lecture is coming up on October 15th. This year is the first time one of dad’s former students will be giving the lecture. Douglas Harris will be giving a lecture titled “Charter School City: What Detroit Can Learn From New Orleans”:
The changes in New Orleans schools after Hurricane Katrina represent the most radical school reform in the nation’s history. The state took over almost all schools and turned them over to private charter school operators working under performance-based contracts. Teachers no longer worked under union contracts or with tenure protections. School attendance zones were eliminated. These market-based school reforms increased accountability, school autonomy, and parental choice in ways not seen in more than a century of American public schooling. Harris will show that the reforms led to considerable improvement in a wide range of student outcomes. He will also explain how the lessons for other cities, and for the role of markets and governments, are more complicated than these results might suggest.
Dad supported of school of choice in the 90’s. He was an economist, and economists believe in markets. I think even published an op-ed in the newspaper pushing for school of choice.
I wish I could get his take on the intersection of school of choice and privatization. Now that I have kids, the state of education is suddenly a much more pressing matter for me.
This year the lecturer was Julianne Smith, former Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden. It’s a really valuable look at some of the issues that our next president is going to face and I encourage everyone to watch.
The first 9 minutes is an introduction that covers some memories of my father, and every year I’m amazed at how fresh the wounds of losing him are. I have tears running down my cheeks listening to stories about him, reminding me of how much I miss him.
Scott also remembers that shortly after Harold died, and for many months after, he would have this need to go and speak to him. We were in an economic crisis in 2009 and he would start down the hall to go to his office and then regret that Harold was not there anymore.