After DeVos Confirmation, Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “Charter Schools Are Overrated” | Shore Fire Media

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15 February, 2017Print

After DeVos Confirmation, Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “Charter Schools Are Overrated”

After DeVos Confirmation, Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "Charter Schools Are Overrated" Livestreaming from NYC, March 1

After a controversial confirmation battle, Betsy DeVos was recently sworn in as Secretary of Education. Much of both the praise and criticism she's received concerns her strong advocacy for charter schools. Between 2004 and 2014 alone, charter school enrollment increased from less than 1 million to 2.5 million students. Many of these charter schools boast high test scores, strict academic expectations, and high graduation rates. But some argue that charters lack accountability, take much-needed resources from public schools, and pick and choose their students. On Wednesday, March 1, the "fantastic" (The New Yorker) debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. will investigate these issues with a debate on the motion "Charter Schools Are Overrated."


Debating in support of the motion are Julian Vasquez Heilig, Founding Board Member of the Network for Public Education, and Gary Miron, prominent charter schools researcher and professor at Western Michigan University. Debating against the motion are Jeanne Allen, founder of the Center for Education Reform who worked in Reagan's Department of Education, and Gerard Robinson, former Florida commissioner of education and Virginia secretary of education.


The debate will be held at NYC's Kaufman Center and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast "Intelligence Squared U.S." On March 1, online viewers can tune in at IQ2US's new website (


WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "Charter Schools Are Overrated"

WHEN: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 / Reception 5:45-6:30 / Debate 6:45-8:30 PM

WHERE: Kaufman Center/129 W. 67th Street (bet. Broadway and Amsterdam)/New York, NY 10023

TICKETS: $40 ($12 for students w/ ID). To purchase, visit


Arguing for the motion:

* Gary Miron: Professor, College of Education, Western Michigan University 

Gary Miron is Professor in Evaluation, Measurement, and Research at Western Michigan University. He has extensive experience evaluating school reforms and education policies in the United States and Europe. Miron has directed more than 60 evaluations and research studies that have been funded with grants and contracts from state, federal, and international agencies as well as private foundations. For the U.S. Department of Education, he led a study on the correlates of success in American charter schools. 

* Julian Vasquez Heilig: Founding Board Member, Network for Public Education & Professor, California State University Sacramento 

Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning teacher, researcher, and blogger. He is currently a professor of educational leadership and policy studies and the director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University Sacramento. He is also a founding board member of the Network for Public Education. 


Arguing against the motion:

* Jeanne Allen: Founder & CEO, The Center for Education Reform 

Jeanne Allen has been on the front lines of education policy development and innovation for more than 30 years. She served for five years at the Department of Education during the Reagan administration. Following her government service, she served at the Heritage Foundation, where she developed the organization's education policy program. In 1993, she founded the Center for Education Reform, an early advocate for school choice that has played an important role in the creation and development of the charter school movement.

* Gerard Robinson: Resident Fellow, AEI & Former Florida Commissioner of Education 

Gerard Robinson is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he works on education policy issues. Robinson served as commissioner of education for the State of Florida and secretary of education for the Commonwealth of Virginia. As president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, Robinson worked to ensure that children in low-income and working-class black families in several states and the District of Columbia were given the opportunity to attend good schools. 



A non-partisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 130 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

For more information on Intelligence Squared U.S., please contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media.