WonkyFolk Vol 12 – A Rising Tide Lifts All Wonks

Greetings, CharterFolk!

This week, Andy and I are talking with David Griffith, Associate Director of Research at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, regarding The Education Competition Index: Quantifying competitive pressure in America’s 125 largest school districts, which indicates the death of traditional public schools has been greatly exaggerated.

Here is a link to the podcast. And for those of you who would prefer a video recording, we provide a link to YouTube as well. 

WonkyFolk logo

This week some of the topics include:

  • Introductions (00:01)
  • A brief description of the study, its findings, and their significance (04:07)
  • The effects of competition generally (06:54)
  • Evolution of the role of competition as advocacy battles intensify and polarization increases (14:54)
  • Other creative ideas to increase competition (16:10)
  • Interesting findings on variation in competition by demographics of students (24:46)
  • Thoughts regarding the ability of new ESAs and voucher programs to increase competition (31:01)
  • Upcoming Fordham studies (39.42)


You can use the following links to access:

As ever, I’m eager to hear feedback and suggestions from CharterFolk. So, if you have a chance to listen to the discussion and want to drop me a line with some thoughts, feel free to reach me at jed@charterfolk.org.

If you haven’t yet heard or seen previous volumes of WonkyFolk, you can access them here.

Meanwhile, I thank you once again for being part of the CharterFolk community and for the efforts you are making to improve educational opportunity in our country.

WonkyFolk is a discussion series between Andy Rotherham and Jed Wallace intended to provide an informative and engaging forum where education reformers can grapple with tough issues related to our shared quest to improve public education in our country.

If you have ideas for WonkyFolk discussion topics, please email me!