Autonomy and Regulation of School Choice

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Hanna Skandera

CPRE Co-Director Jonathan Supovitz interviews former New Mexico Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera about the measures being taking in New Mexico regarding equitable access for students, as well as some new funding policies that have been established to address school choice issues.

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This Cool Thinking on Hot Topics provides a cohesive look at one of the most critical conversations occurring in the education landscape today: school choice. By bringing together policymakers, researchers, and practitioners to analyze, critique, and provide context to the most relevant aspects of the school choice debate, this Cool Thinking will provide new perspectives to help viewers consider the debate with a new focus.

CPRE Co-Director Jonathan Supovitz interviews former New Mexico Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera, National Association of Charter School Authorizers Vice President of Research & Evaluation Karega Rausch, Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee, Regional Director of the American Federation for Children Ryan Cantrell, and New Mexico House of Representatives member Dennis Roch. In these interviews, the participants recount the status of charters, choice, and vouchers in their states, whether these elements of choice will be expanding in the future, what challenges decision-makers have encountered, how research has informed these choice policies, and whether the states have done any evaluation of the effects of choice on parents or students. 

Want to learn more about school choice?  These select resources will provide more ways to engage with the current conversations occurring around school choice. These resources will deepen your knowledge base, and provide additional details and considerations to supplement the conversations captured in our Cool Thinking videos on Autonomy and Regulation in School Choice.

Sydney Chaffee
Humanities Teacher, Codman Academy Charter School (MA)

Sydney Chaffee is a humanities teacher at Codman Academy Charter School in Massachusetts, where she works to develop authentic, relevant, and interdisciplinary lessons. She was named the 2016 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year for her work in the classroom, where she attempts each day to show students that they have more power to affect change than they realize. She has also served as a consultant on EL Education's curriculum design project, a mentor for pre-service teachers from Turfts University and Boston University, a member of Massachusetts' Teacher Advisory Cabinet, and a Teacher Plus Policy Fellow. 

M. Karega Rausch
Vice President of Research and Evaluation, National Association of Charter School Authorizers

As the Vice President of Research and Evaluation at the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, M. Karega Rausch conducts research and evaluations to strive towards high-quality authorizing practices and policies within charter school authorizations. Having worked as a charter school authorizer, an education policy researcher, a community engagement specialist, and an advocacy strategist, Rausch brings a number of skills to his role as the Vice President of Research and Evaluation. Before taking this position, Karega worked as the Charter Schools Director in the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office and founded Stand for Children, a national educational advocacy nonprofit. 

Dennis Roch
State Representative, New Mexico House of Representatives

Dennis Roch has served as a State Representative in the New Mexico House of Representatives since 2009, and is a member of the House Education committee, as well as the House Rules & Order of Business committee and the House State Government, Indian & Veterans Affairs committee. He has also served a four-year term on the Public Education Commission in New Mexico, as well as working as a teacher, principal, and currently as a district superintendent.


Hanna Skandera
Former Secretary of Education, New Mexico Public Education Department

Nominated to serve as New Mexico’s Secretary of Education in 2010, Hanna Skandera served 6-plus years at the head of body, working hard to implement strong standards, craft effective teacher evaluations, and comprehensive assessments across the state with the goal of improving education. Prior to that time, she served as the Deputy Education Commissioner of Florida.