Education, social policy expert to discuss the impact of school choice policies

Published: January 10 2013

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — David Figlio, director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, will speak at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 in Room 180 at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law about school choice and school accountability policies.

The program is being co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the University of Florida’s Bob Graham Center for Public Service. The event is free and open to the public. Figlio, also a professor of education and social policy and economics at Northwestern, taught for 10 years at UF, where he was the Knight-Ridder Professor of Economics

Choice and accountability policies are designed to improve student outcomes by facilitating better matches between students and schools and by changing incentives for educators. However, the potential success or failure of these policies depends crucially on the way in which they are designed. In his talk, “Pitfalls and Promises of School Choice and Accountability,” Figlio will describe the conditions under which the policies are more or less likely to succeed based on evidence seen in Florida and the nation.

Figlio’s research includes numerous impact studies ranging from the effect of preschools on children’s behavior to the impact of competition between Florida’s public and private schools on student achievement.

Figlio’s perspectives on how school choice is changing our educational system can help to educate the public on the consequences of choice policies. How cost-effective are school choice options? Do alternative schools provide the same services? What impact have alternative schools had on public school funding and enrollment? Which groups do alternative schools serve? Who owns and manages alternative schools? With state funding for public schools in Florida steadily declining and local property taxes now bearing the burden of more than half of the state mandated cost, these are some of the critical questions taxpayers should be asking about the impact of alternative schools.

Figlio is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a founding member of the CESifo Research Program on the Economics of Education. His research on education and social policy has been published in numerous leading journals. He has served on numerous national education task forces and panels, and has advised several states and foreign nations on the design, implementation and evaluation of education policies. He earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995.


Shelby Taylor, 352-273-1086

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories