Welcome Letter

The International School Choice and Reform Conference (ISCRC) is an academic conference that gathers scholars who study various forms of school choice, systemic reform and educational innovation. This includes scholarship on how school choice is enacted, the mechanisms that structure school choice programs, and both the individual and systemic outcomes of school choice and reform. To the greatest extent possible, ISCRC includes multiple perspectives. Some of the research is more supportive of various forms of school choice while other research has a more critical stance. Still others favor one form of choice while opposing other forms of choice. They are connected by the goal of using quality research to shed light on how school choice policies actually work.

The Conference emphasizes:


Initially founded by the leaders of the Journal of School Choice and Reform, the ISCRC has grown into an important forum for the examination of forms of education which serve as alternatives to traditional public schools. Its primary goal is to act as a means whereby scholars and practitioners can come together in small groups to identify unanswered issues related to school choice and reform and to identify areas of possible collaboration.

Traditionally, ISCRC has been held in Florida during the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial weekend. This year, we will return to that tradition after a hugely successful 2019 Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. We hope to see our emphasis on International School Choice endeavors continued this year back in Florida. It is no coincidence that the Conference is held annually in January in Florida. Participants enjoy time in the warm weather in a hotel that is literally right across the street from the beach.

ISCRC offers a unique opportunity for school choice scholars to gather in small groups (the Conference aims at an enrollment of 150 people and includes in its registration fee multiple meal and reception opportunities for participants to meet one another). All presentation sessions are designed with abundant time for discussion and debate. We call your attention to an innovative category, Critical Conversations and Networking, which appeared for the first time last year to great acclaim.

Please notice that the deadline for the submission of papers or symposia is Friday, August 30, 2019.

Presenters are eligible for a travel subsidy (historically $1,200). The subsidy will include pre-paid room registration at the Conference hotel, the Fort Lauderdale Sonesta. In 2019, approximately 95 percent of those applying for the subsidy received awards. Details related to the 2020 subsidy will be published after the August submission deadline.

ROBERT FOX, for the ISCRC Planning Committee:

MARK BERENDS, University of Notre Dame
NINA BUCHANAN, University of Hawai’i
MARISA CANNATA, Vanderbilt University
ANNA EGALITE, North Carolina State Univesity
REBECCA FELDHERR, Skidmore College
ROBERT FOX, University of Hawai’i
TRIIN LAURI, Tallinn University School of Governance
ROBERT MARANTO, University of Arkansas
RODRIGO MELO, Universidad Católica Portuguesa
GARY MIRON, Western Michigan University
BENJAMIN SCAFIDI, Kennesaw State University
CHRIS STEWART, Education Post
DEANI VAN PELT, Edvance Christian Schools Association
PATRICK WOLF, University of Arkansas