School Choice Report Podcast

School Choice Report Episode Archive

Check out the latest School Choice Report episode here.

Season 2, Episode 3: In this episode of School Choice Report, guest host Guy Ciarrocchi interviews Don Asplen, CEO of Achievement House Cyber Charter School. They discuss what cyber charter schools are as well as their benefits. Currently, nearly 70,000 Pennsylvania children attend one of the fourteen cyber schools in the Commonwealth. They are at the forefront of the fastest growing sector of education in Pennsylvania.

Season 2, Episode 2: An advocate turned school choice advocate, Keisha Jordan is a woman on a mission.

In this episode of School Choice Report, host David Hardy and Ms. Jordan discuss charter school options, student outcomes, education savings accounts, and the need for more courageous people to stand up and support school choice. Listen in and let us know what you think!

Season 2 Premier: Get ready to dive into the electrifying SEASON 2 premiere of School Choice Report! Join your host, the dynamic David Hardy, as he engages in a riveting conversation with none other than the distinguished economist, Professor Robert Strauss from Carnegie Mellon University.

Embark on an exhilarating journey through Professor Strauss’ illustrious career, characterized by his unwavering commitment to excellence in state-level tax policy projects and groundbreaking research ventures. Hold onto your seats as we unveil Professor Strauss’ latest groundbreaking studies, delving deep into over 24 years of records to expose student misconduct in Pennsylvania’s public schools.

Special Episode: In this special School Choice Report episode, host David Hardy and guest Andrew Campanella (Chairman and CEO of the National School Choice Awareness Foundation) explore different school choice options for families, National School Choice Week events, and the advancement of school choice opportunities across the nation.

What has Andrew found to work while advancing knowledge of school choice options? Tune in to find out!

Season Finale: In our School Choice Report Season 1 finale, host David Hardy is joined by Ursinus College Associate Professor of Education John Spencer.

Professor Spencer believes schooling ought to be thought provoking, life changing, and relevant to the world beyond school. In his classrooms, he has worked to model the kind of collaborative, intellectually engaging approaches to teaching and learning that he hopes his students will foster in their own careers.

Through Professor Spencer’s research of the history of education, he authored In the Crossfire: Marcus Foster and the Troubled history of American School Reform, which is both a biography of an African American school leader and a history of American school reform since the 40s.

Episode 22: In the latest School Choice Report, Commonwealth Foundation Distinguished Sr. Fellow David Hardy interviews Dr. James Woodworth, Research Fellow with the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO). They delve into CREDO’s studies on charter schools, highlighting their evolution from negative growth in 2009 to significant positive growth in 2023. 

Dr. Woodworth emphasizes the importance of learning from successful charter schools and implementing their strategies in traditional public schools. David and Dr. Woodworth then explore the aftermath of the pandemic on education, discussing challenges in addressing learning loss and the limitations of simply extending the school year.

It’s an informative, research driven episode that will educate everyone who listens.

Episode 21: Derrell Bradford is the president of ⁠50CAN⁠: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now. He leads communications and policy, and trains and recruits local leaders across the country to serve as executive directors of state CANs, advocacy fellows, and citizen advocates. He brings a unique perspective to the school choice movement, and we appreciate this opportunity to have him on the show.

Episode 20: Our guest in this episode is CEO and President of Pennsylvania Families for Education Choice Sharon Sedlar. She strongly believes that parents are uniquely qualified to make educational decisions for their children, and the rights of those parents should be respected; that there is no single educational offering that will ever suit every special and unique child. Pennsylvania Families for Education Choice works to highlight the importance of education choice via all models, and we’re excited to have her join the program!

Episode 19: From working to expand tax credit scholarships to educating everyone from elected officials to parents on the benefits of school choice, Stephen (Steve) Bloom is a leading voice on one of the biggest issues facing families today. He’s worked for decades encouraging elected officials to stand against those powerful forces that are trying to prevent children from getting every opportunity to succeed. 

In this episode, host Dave Hardy and guest Steve Bloom look at the barriers to education opportunity students are seeing, what families are coming up against when their children are trapped in failing schools, and what’s on the horizon for school choice. 

Episode 18: What drives someone to take a stand for school choice when his or her peers pose fierce opposition? What are parents who want more educational choice saying to elected officials? What is the path forward for students trapped in failing schools? We tackle all of this and more with our distinguished guest this week, Senator Anthony “Tony” Williams.

Senator Williams represents Pennsylvania’s 8th District. He sees what’s happening in Philly – where children are trapped in failing schools – and is one of the strongest, most fierce advocates for educational opportunity throughout the state. We thank him for his time and dedication to students in Philadelphia and across the Keystone State!

Episode 17: Margaret “Macke” Raymond is the Director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) based at Stanford University. She has steered the group to national prominence as a rigorous and independent source for policy and program analysis.

If facts matter to you, then this episode is for you! Through the research Ms. Raymond leads, we are able to understand the significance of school choice programs and how they enable students to have the best possible educational outcomes.

Episode 16: Ryan Boyer is the business manager of Laborers’ District Council and head of the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council. It’s been written that he’s a no-nonsense operator in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and his recent commentary in the Philadelphia Citizen drives this home.

During this thought provoking episode, Mr. Boyer highlights that we need to do what’s best for children and sticking with the status quo isn’t the answer.  

Episode 15: Georgia State Representative and school choice champion Mesa Mainor made headlines across the nation when she left the Democratic Party after her party attacked her when she decided to stand up for disadvantaged students. Rep. Mainor took and continues to take a courageous stand for educational choice, and we’re excited she was able to join the program.

Episode 14: We are excited to have CEO & founder of Q&A, co-founder of Venice Music, and school choice advocate Troy Carter join the show!

Mr. Carter’s connections to Philadelphia strong, and he’s seen first hand how education choice can open up opportunities for children that wouldn’t otherwise have them. He highlights that even with his own family he sees the necessity of finding the right fit for each child’s learning needs, and that should be available to every child.

Mr. Carter knows that ZIP codes shouldn’t trap a child and dictate their educational outcome, and programs like Lifeline Scholarships/PASS will help elevate the potential of students across the board.

Episode 13: In this episode, host David Hardy sits down with CEO and Executive Director at Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools Janel “Jay” Artis-Wright. Ms. Artis-Wright has spent two decades lobbying, training, organizing and advocating for quality education for the most underserved. As she says in the interview, it’s not so much about being a charter school as it is about having a quality option available to communities. School choice is the avenue to ensure families have the most education opportunity possible.

Episode 12: From discussing the “why” behind the push for school choice to what hope families could and should have on the education horizon, host David Hardy leads intriguing discussions with Senior Fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation Lenny McAllister (@Lennymcallister) and Deputy Director of Parent Voice and Outreach with the National Parents Union Maritza Guridy (@MsG4PhillyEduca).

Episode 11: In this episode, President and CEO of the Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia Keisha Jordan joins host David Hardy. Ms. Jordan is a dedicated nonprofit leader with 20 years of experience in education advocacy, school administration, human resources, staff and volunteer training, and fund development. What does school choice mean to communities in Philly and throughout Pennsylvania? Take a listen to find out!

Episode 10: In this episode, host Dave Hardy interviews Pennsylvania State Representative Martina White. We find out the “why” behind her support of school choice, why the issue is important, and why Lifeline Scholarships (AKA P.A.S.S.) is a necessary step to ensuring all children have access to quality education opportunities.

Episode 9: What’s happening in Pennsylvania’s capitol? Why did Governor Shapiro renege on his handshake deal and outward support of Lifeline Scholarships? What should we expect in the days, weeks, and months ahead? Podcast host Dave Hardy talks with Commonwealth Foundation Sr. Vice President Nathan Benefield about all this and more in the latest School Choice Report!

Episode 8: In this episode, host Dave Hardy interviews Guy Ciarrocchi. Guy recently joined Commonwealth Foundation as a Fellow. They talk about the hottest topic of the day in PA – Lifeline Scholarships – and why all families and children need choice in education.

Episode 7: Pastor Josh Robertson of The Rock Church in Harrisburg, PA joins our seventh episode of the School Choice Report podcast. He has an incredible story with valuable connections to the community and schools. Why is school choice important? Listen in to what Pastor Josh has to say to find out.

Episode 6: In our latest episode of School Choice Podcast, guest host Guy Ciarrocchi interviews former United States Senator and Democratic nominee for Vice President Joe Lieberman. The Honorable Sen. Lieberman is a long time, emphatic school choice supporter. He shares helpful insight and stories highlighting why he’s a proponent of education opportunity, how people from across the aisle can come together to help all students, and hope for the future of school choice here in Pennsylvania.

Episode 5: In this week’s episode of School Choice Report, host David Hardy welcomes Commonwealth Foundation Executive Vice President Jennifer Stefano. They discuss the recent mayoral primary in Philadelphia and what it means for the city, especially for parents hoping to help their children get out of failing schools.

Episode 4: In this week’s School Choice Report, host David Hardy welcomes special guest Jeff Yass, co-founder and managing partner of Susquehanna International Group (SIG) . Jeff is known for his unwavering support of school choice. He recently came up with an exciting idea that could revolutionize public education, and we’re honored to have him join the podcast. 

Episode 3: There have been countless battles for the right to properly educate, give agency to, and give education access to Black children. In this episode, Dr. Howard Fuller continues the conversation from Episode 2. Dr. Fuller is a former superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools and founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, a national pro-voucher and school choice group.

Episode 2: There have been countless battles for the right to properly educate, give agency to, and give education access to Black children. In this episode, Dr. Howard Fuller joins the conversation. Dr. Fuller is a former superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools and founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, a national pro-voucher and school choice group.

Episode 1: In this inaugural episode of School Choice Report, host David Hardy will take a deep dive into school choice with special guest and Sr. Vice President of the Commonwealth Foundation Nathan Benefield.

Whether you’re an advocate, skeptic, or just curious about school choice this podcast is for you.

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