Choice: A Case Study in Education and Entrepreneurship

Visiting professor and Harber Fellow Jack Dougherty brings a fascinating new course to Wesleyan’s Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life this spring. In CSPL 341, students will examine the controversial intersection of education and entrepreneurship not just by reading theory and research on the subject, but also by looking at the effects of recent policy changes and honing their own research skills in the process.

Description from WesMaps:

In this seminar, we will investigate an increasingly popular reform movement–choice–to better understand what happens when educators act more like entrepreneurs in competing for students, how families navigate both schooling and housing markets, and the outcomes of recent policy innovations. Drawing from the disciplines of history, sociology, and government, we will compare and contrast choice models that have been promoted by charter schools, magnet schools, and move-to-opportunity housing experiments. Teams of student researchers will conduct quantitative analyses of choice data and qualitative interviews with parents and stakeholders in Hartford.

Interested students should email the instructor ( explaining their research interests and related coursework. Read more about the course here, and check out Prof. Doughterty’s reflection on his CT Mirror Hackathon experiences.