School Choice Group Planning First Conference

Published October 13, 2009

The Family: Forgotten Foundation of Education Reform?; The American Center for School Choice Holds Its Inaugural Conference

National Press Club will be site of unique debate on family choice in education as a moral and civic imperative

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2009 — Sparks will fly at the National Press Club on November 9, 2009, as the American Center for School Choice launches its inaugural conference to explore the case for school choice as public policy. The daylong conference, titled “School Choice and the American Family – A Moral and Civic Imperative,” will bring together experts and activists of differing views and divergent political affiliations.

Scheduled participants include John Coons, Joseph Viteritti, Barry Lynn, Stephen Sugarman, Charles Glenn, Virginia Walden Ford, Jesse Choper, Patrick Brennan, Frank Kemerer, Paul Dimond, E. J. Dionne, Dale McDonald, Chester Finn, James Forman Jr., Virgina Walden Ford, Tanya Clay House and Sol Stern.

Michael Guerra, Executive Director of the American Center for School Choice (, says, “The American Center for School Choice — ACSC — is a new voice, but our perspective has deep roots, certainly reaching back to the work of Daniel Patrick Moynihan. While we make common cause with many who see choice as central to education reform, our support for school choice starts with our commitment to strengthening families before moving on to consider collateral benefits for school improvement.”

The morning sessions of the conference address school choice as a moral and civic imperative. The afternoon sessions address the legal and political precedents and prospects. “We have invited panelists who will challenge our vision on both principled and practical grounds,” says Guerra. “Our guest list includes supporters of choice, opponents of choice, and people who may be undecided or remain uninspired by the arguments they have heard so far. ACSC will make the case that school choice deserves the support of all who are concerned with freedom and justice.”

“Our system already recognizes the right of parents to freely exercise choice in the education of their children,” says J. A. Gray, one of the founding directors of ACSC. “We need to make it our public policy to bring all families into that circle where parental responsibility is exercised and family dignity is respected. To empower the family to be fully responsible for the education of its children is best understood not as subsidizing the family as a private consumer but rather as enabling the family to fulfill its deeper vocation as a vital contributor to the public good.”

About the American Center for School Choice:

The American Center for School Choice was founded in 2008 in response to the political fact that the empowerment of ordinary families to exercise effective choice in the education of their children will come only as the fruit of a credible coalition of recognized centrists. ACSC seeks to speak to those of whatever party affiliation who resonate to arguments about the family and related communitarian values. ACSC believes that every family needs choice – for the child’s good, the family’s good, and the common good. For more info, google