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School Choice

Conference Summary

The International Conference on School Choice & Reform (ICSCR) is sponsored by the Journal of School Choice.  ICSCR encourages discussion about: (1) the role of families in choosing schools, (2) the educational and organizational practices of schools and other contexts involving family choice, including the role of educators, (3) the role of government in utilizing school choice to bring about effective and equitable education, and (4) the role of school choice within broader school reform efforts and systems of education.

ICSCR provides a framework for examining different forms of school choice, including magnet and charter public schools, controlled choice and inter-district transfer programs, vouchers, tuition tax credits, homeschooling, virtual schools and the direct public funding of private schools provided in many countries. Topics for the conference will include analyses of data about the experiences of stakeholders -- students, families, educators, communities -- and assessing the evidence on the effects of choice. We are interested in how school choice connects with education for diverse groups of students.

Deliberately designed for around 200 participants to encourage discussion, ICSCR brings together researchers, policy specialists, practitioners, and organizational leaders from many different countries to stimulate new thinking and foster international collaboration.  By drawing representatives of governments into this discussion, ICSCR also encourages the development and implementation of effective and equitable policies. This year, ICSCR will be conducted as part of the Hawaii International Conference on Education (HICE)


ICSCR participants should use the regular Hawaii International Conference on Education registration form (either word format or .pdf), or register online here; and check the appropriate school choice box.  In addition to the information described in the HICE ‘Call for Papers,’ tab, please submit a description not exceeding 1000 words describing your paper or presentation. Submissions may be emailed to  School choice submissions will be considered separately and will be assembled into school choice sessions. Please address the following issues in your submission:

  • Purpose/objectives of the presentation
  • Methods
  • Data and/or theoretical issue addressed
  • Results or conclusions
  • Significance to researchers, policymakers or practitioners

Further information about special ICSCR activities will be sent to school choice registrants separately.

Call for Proposals

International Conference on School Choice & Reform 2016: Connecting Research and Practice

Proposals Due by Monday, August 8, 2016

The 5th International Conference on School Choice & Reform (ICSCR) will bring together researchers, policy specialists, practitioners, and organization leaders from around the world who are interested in school choice and reforms that incorporate choice.  The focus of the conference is on how school choice practice and policy shapes education, including the roles of varied stakeholders such as parents and teachers. Of particular interest are the connections between choice, autonomy, equity, and effective education. The conference encourages empirically-based papers that use strong quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methodological approaches and theoretical and philosophical analyses connected to choice.  We welcome presentations that are critical as well as supportive of school choice.

The conference program will consist primarily of presentations, both individual papers and symposia, selected through this open call for submissions and a peer review process.

Our criteria for judging papers and symposia are that the proposal:

  • States clear objectives that are salient to school choice and education reform, more generally
  • Provides a perspective or theoretical framework
  • Employs appropriate research methods, techniques, or modes of inquiry
  • Uses appropriate data sources and evidence
  • Contains compelling results and/or substantiated conclusions or warrants for arguments/point of view
  • Contributes to our scientific or scholarly understanding of the topic and informs policy and/or practice

Symposia proposals should include a statement about the overall symposium, and descriptions of the individual papers/presentations that comprise it. Proposals are limited to 1000 words for individual papers and 1,500 words for symposia (not including references).

  • Accepted paper submissions will be assembled into panels and a moderator or discussant will be appointed for each. We encourage proposals that target cutting-edge or provocative topics under the general theme of school choice in a single city, state, region or nation. Papers based upon empirical data and with policy implications are preferred.
  • Symposia provide opportunities to examine a specific school choice topic from a variety of perspectives, or across different cities, states, regions or countries. Symposium participants may or may not have written papers, and might include practitioners and policymakers. The organizer of a symposium proposes the topic, identifies participants, and describes the format to be used. Consent of all participants should be obtained before advancing a symposium proposal.

Proposals that take advantage of the diversity of conference participants, both internationally and by sector, and that stimulate broad rather than technical discussions are strongly encouraged.  Examples might include:

  • Diverse approaches to school choice (e.g., magnet schools, tuition tax credits, charter schools).
  • Diverse perspectives on a single topic related to school choice (e.g., parent engagement, the role of government regulation).
  • International comparisons of the implementation, effects, etc. of school choice policies.
  • Understanding the implications of various school choice reforms for diverse populations and communities.
  • Exchanges among researchers, policymakers, and practitioners.