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Education Policy Fellowship Program

School Choice Policies & Charter Schools

December 13, 1999
2:00 pm-7:00 pm
Kellogg Ctr., MSU

Researchers at Michigan State University recently released a report which assesses the impact of charter schools and school choice policies, examines how schools and districts have responded to these challenges, and sets out recommendations for making the emerging school "market" work more effectively. The report provides another opportunity for the Fellows to study the dynamics of the policy process and its outcomes.


Session A Resource Person:

David N. Plank

Department of Educational Administration
College of Education
Michigan State University
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Professor Plank is one of the authors of the report and he brings a wealth of information on the topic. His biographical material is available through the link provided.

Related Links:

Session B Resource Persons:

Mary Kay Shields (EPFP 86-87)
Charter School Development and Performance Institute
Central Michigan University
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Mary Kay Shields is the Director of the Charter School Development and Performance Institute at Central Michigan University. Central Michigan University is Michigan's largest charter school authorizer, having licensed 59 of the state's 173 operating charter schools. Established in 1892, Central Michigan University has built an enviable national reputation as a leader in educational reform through its work with traditional and charter public schools.

Ms. Shields formerly served as a Special Advisor in the Governor's Office where she established and implemented a strategic plan involving public and special interest groups, a broad cross section of leaders drawn from business and industry, interested parents, and various public agencies to ensure the development, support and sustainability of charter schools.

Ms. Shields has long distinguished herself as a leader in educational reform, particularly through legislative policy and school finance reform. She began her public career almost two decades ago as a Legislative Analyst for the Michigan House of Representatives, and a Fiscal Analyst for both chambers of Michigan's bicameral Legislature but has worked in education throughout her professional life, beginning her educational career as a Special Education Teacher.She has been a gubernatorial appointee to various statewide commissions and task forces.

Mary Kay Shields and her husband, Tom, have two children in public schools, Kristin and Tim. The Shields family is active in a wide variety of community, church, recreational, and humanitarian activities.

Matthew J. Brouillette (EPFP 99-00)
Director of Education Policy
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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Matthew J. Brouillette is the Director of Education Policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Mr. Brouillette is the author of numerous articles, opinion-editorials, and studies related to education reform in Michigan. He also serves as Managing Editor of Michigan Education Report, a quarterly journal focused on K-12 education issues in the state of Michigan. Matthew frequently appears in many of Michigan's major newspapers and on talk radio and television programs across the state.

As a former middle and high school history teacher, Matthew brings practical experience on the front lines of the education field to the public policy arena. He received his undergraduate degree from Cornell College and has earned two post-graduate degrees in education and history from Azusa Pacific University and the University of San Diego. Mr. Brouillette is currently an adjunct lecturer in United States history at Saginaw Valley State University.

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