"From Reconstruction Onward: the Role of Historical Continuity in the Rise of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and the Charter School Movement"
Teaching Professor Shane Goodridge is presenting at the 58th Annual Meeting of the History of Education Society in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 31 through November 4. The Society is an international scholarly organization devoted to promoting and teaching the history of education across institutions with the goals of encouraging research and collaboration, facilitating publication, promoting library and museum facilities, and advocating for historical perspective in the making of education policy.
This year's conference is exploring three themes: (a) the History of Teachers and Teaching, (b) Ideas and Ideology in Educational Policy and Practice, and (c) Methods and Methodology in Education. Dr. Goodridge is presenting in the session Educational Reform and Schools in the United States. The title of his presentation is "From Reconstruction Onward: the Role of Historical Continuity in the Rise of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and the Charter School Movement."
The launching of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Plan (MPCP) is rightfully regarded as a seminal moment in the history of the nation’s ongoing experimentation with educational vouchers. However, the historical impulses that led segments of the African American community to undertake this radical education reform measure, the affect the MPCP had on the policy landscape and the impact the program had on the creation and implementation of the charter school movement remain underdeveloped within the historical literature. This paper reaches back to the postbellum era and traces the contiguous impulses that incrementally worked to create the cultural space within the African American community to move school choice to the forefront of American education policy. Moreover, this research works to demonstrate the synergy between historical eras and diverse stakeholders as they built upon each other to produce, first, the MPCP and, to later, contribute to the ascension of the charter school movement.