The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

Fellows

Greg Forster, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow
greg@edchoice.org


Greg Forster, Ph.D., is a senior fellow with the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. He conducts research and writes on school choice policy. Forster has conducted empirical studies on the impact of school choice programs in Milwaukee, Ohio, Florida, and Texas, as well as national empirical studies comparing public and private schools in terms of working conditions for teachers; racial segregation; and teacher and staff misconduct. He also has conducted empirical studies of other education topics, including charter schools, accountability testing, graduation rates, student demographics, and special education.
 
Forster’s research has appeared in the peer-reviewed publications Teachers College Record and Education Working Paper Archive, and his articles on education policy have appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Education Next, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and numerous other publications. He is co-author of the book "Education Myths: What Special-Interest Groups Want You to Believe about Our Schools – and Why It Isn’t So," from Rowman & Littlefield.
 
Forster is a contributor to Jay P. Greene's Blog.
 

Brian Gottlob, M.P.A.

Senior Fellow
Principal, PolEcon Research | bgottlob@poleconresearch.com

Brian Gottlob is the Principal of PolEcon Research. For more than 17 years, Gottlob has analyzed economic, demographic, labor market industry, and public policy trends for private sector, government, and non-profit organizations. He has extensive experience in developing econometric models and has completed studies on a range of economic, tax policy, energy, education, and health care issues in the states of New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Oregon, Michigan, Georgia, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Illinois.

Gottlob has been an instructor at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire, a member of the Advisory Board of the New England Economic Partnership (NEEP), and a member of the National Association of Business Economics. Prior to founding PolEcon, Gottlob was a Vice President for Fiscal and Economic Policy at the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire. He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the State University of New York and a graduate degree in public policy analysis from the University of New Hampshire.
 

Matthew Ladner, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow 
Senior Advisor of Policy and Research, Foundation for Excellence
in Education | matthew@excelined.org

Dr. Matthew Ladner is the Senior Advisor of Policy and Research for the Foundation for Excellence in Education and co-author of the American Legislative Exchange Council's "Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress, and Reform."

Previously, Dr. Ladner served as Vice President of Research and Goldwater Institute. Prior to joining Goldwater, Ladner was Director of State Projects at the Alliance for School Choice, where he provided support and resources for state-based school choice efforts. He has provided invited testimony to Congress, a number of state legislatures, and the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Ladner has written numerous studies on school choice, charter schools, and special educaton reform, and has published articles in Education Next, the Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, and the British Journal of Political Science. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received both a master's and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Houston.

Ladner blogs on education reform, movies, and random pop culture topics at Jay P. Greene's Blog. He lives in Phoenix with his wife, Anne, and their three children Benjamin, Jacob, and Abigail.
 

Benjamin Scafidi, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow
Director, Economics of Education Policy Center, Georgia College & State
University | ben.scafidi@gcsu.edu

Ben Scafidi is a professor of economics and director of the Economics of Education Policy Center at Georgia College & State University. He is also a senior fellow with the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and the director of education policy for the Georgia Community Foundation, Inc. His research has focused on education and urban policy. Previously, he served as chair of the state of Georgia’s Charter Schools Commission, the education policy advisor to Gov. Sonny Perdue, on the staff of both of Gov. Roy Barnes’ Education Reform Study Commissions, and as an expert witness for the state of Georgia in school funding litigation. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia and his B.A. in economics from the University of Notre Dame. Ben and Lori Scafidi and their four children reside in Milledgeville, Georgia.
 

Jason Bedrick, M.P.P.

Fellow
Policy Analyst, Cato Institute | jbedrick@cato.org

Jason Bedrick is a policy analyst with Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom. Bedrick has extensive policy research experience, including detailed legislative development and analysis. He previously served as a legislator in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and was a research fellow at the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, where he focused on state education policy. Bedrick received his Master’s in Public Policy, with a focus in education policy, from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His thesis, “Choosing to Learn,” assessed the scholarship tax credit programs operating in eight states including their impact of student performance, fiscal impact, program design, and popularity.
 

Patrick R. Gibbons

Fellow
Public Affairs Manager, Step Up For Students | pgibbons@stepupforstudents.org

Patrick Gibbons serves as the Public Affairs Manager at Step Up For Students in Florida. Prior to that, Gibbons was the Principal of Gibbons Consulting, where he provided research and consulting services for local policymakers and business leaders in Nevada. Gibbons also was the CEO of CareAbout.it, a Las Vegas startup company which aims to analyze charitable giving in the United States.

Gibbons previously served as the Education Policy Analyst for the Nevada Policy Research Institute and taught high school history and special education in Virginia.

Gibbons has conducted numerous radio and television interviews, testified before the Nevada state legislature, and has written more than 100 published articles. His articles have appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Sun, Reno Gazette Journal, School Reform News, Tech Crunch, and more. In 2011, Gibbons created the database for the Friedman Foundation’s "The ABCs of School Choice."

Gibbons holds bachelor degrees in Political Science and History from The Pennsylvania State University and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma.