Ben Scafidi

Ben Scafidi is a professor of economics and director of the Education Economics Center at Kennesaw State University. He is also a Friedman fellow with EdChoice and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. His research has focused on education and urban policy.

Unbundling: Rethinking How We Deliver Remedial Services to Students Who Need Them

The idea behind remediation in education is to bring a student who has fallen behind academically back up to speed with their peers by offering extra services. Federal and state funding for remediation programs have increased dramatically over time in real (inflation-adjusted) terms. Sadly, despite this large influx of money, achievement gaps between groups of […]

“The Integration Anomaly” Author Responds to Critics

The integration Anomaly author responds to critics

My report, The Integration Anomaly, relies on dozens of empirical studies and logic from simulation models calibrated to real-world data to make a claim that universal school choice programs can be designed to promote greater race and class integration.  In recent decades, Americans have been making free choices in myriad areas that are leading to […]

New Research on School Segregation Shows Startling Trends

How school choice could improve school segregation

Six decades after the landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education, many students still attend schools that are segregated by race or class. And this isn’t just a problem because greater integration is, in and of itself, a worthwhile goal for society. It’s a problem because research shows that African-American students, especially males, concentrated […]

ESAs are Key to Improving Ed, Attracting Talent in Detroit

Could ESAs help revive Detroit?

It has been sad to watch the spectacular fall of the once great American city of Detroit. From 1950 to the present, the population of Detroit has dropped from 1.85 million to fewer than 700,000 residents. Once home to the highest per capita income among metropolitan areas in the United States, Detroit now has: a […]

Top-Down Reform vs. Market Reform of K–12 Education

market reform of K-12 education

Newly elected officials interested in “improving” K–12 education might sound a lot like Optimus Prime: “Reform and roll out!” But just like the Transformers, although policymakers’ reforms will differ and change, they’re all inherently the same. America has seen “reforms” of public education since 1644, when Rev. Ralph Wheelock became the first teacher in the […]

An Employee Stock Ownership Plan for America’s Public Schools

America's Public Schools

School teachers and leaders at America’s public schools typically don’t place much value in private school choice’s worth. However, that education policy could raise their own stock considerably—and literally. As school choice grows, a teacher investment proposal introduced long ago deserves revisiting. Teachers’ unions and school district representatives spend millions of dollars advocating and lobbying against […]

The “Fruits” and the Future of Centralization in Public Schools

Centralization in public schools through school district consolidation was pitched as a way to save administrative costs in American public schools. Instead, public school administration has mirrored the trend of virtually every other government input: growth. Such centralization has contributed to a decrease in the ability of parents to “vote with their feet” for better […]

Reasons the Public Education System Has Become Increasingly Centralized

Beyond just the consolidation of America’s school districts I outlined previously, there have been four sizable waves that have eroded public schools’ abilities to differentiate themselves in order to provide real alternatives for consumers of K–12 education. This decrease in educational diversity in the public education system is not consistent with the desires of parents who have a variety […]