March 21, 2018

Wayne State University College of Education hosts debate and discussion on school choice as part of Presidential Sesquicentennial Symposia Series

The Wayne State University College of Education will host “School Choice in Urban America: Prospects and Challenges,” a symposium commemorating the university’s sesquicentennial, on Wednesday, April 18. National and local experts will debate and discuss the impact of school choice on education in the United States and its influence on the direction of K-12 schools in Detroit. The program will be held in the ballroom of Wayne State’s Student Center Building, located at 5221 Gullen Mall in Detroit.

During the keynote debate, Richard D. Kahlenberg, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, and Patrick J. Wolf, Ph.D., professor and 21st Century Endowed Chair in School Choice at the University of Arkansas, will share their opinions about the possibilities and potential risks related to public school choice and private school vouchers from a national perspective. The second part of the program will include a panel discussion. Tonya Allen, president and chief executive officer of The Skillman Foundation; Sarah Winchell Lenhoff, Ph.D., assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Wayne State; and Nikolai Vitti, Ed.D., superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District, will explore ideas and issues related to the future of K-12 education in Detroit. Lloyd C. Crews (Ph.D. ‘07), a member of the Southfield City Council, will serve as moderator.

“School choice is a complex and often controversial issue,” said R. Douglas Whitman, dean of the College of Education. “It is also one of the chief concerns of educators, parents and communities in Detroit, throughout Michigan and across the country. As an institution committed to our community and as educators focused on ensuring the success of Michigan’s children and schools, it is critical that we provide information, prompt inquiry and promote involvement surrounding school choice so all children have access to excellent schools.”

A reception, which will include remarks from Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson, will begin at 5 p.m. The program will follow at 5:30 p.m. The symposium is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, and reservations are requested. Guests should register at to obtain more information about the program and parking.

For more information, contact Jeffrey Lisiecki at or 313-577-1601.

About the College of Education

For more than a century, the Wayne State University College of Education has prepared effective urban educators who are reflective, innovative and committed to diversity. Its Teacher Education Division boasts one of the most comprehensive, well-established programs in the country, and all four academic divisions offer a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in nearly 30 program areas, including learning design and technology, leadership and policy, kinesiology, sports administration, education evaluation and research, health education, educational psychology, and counseling. To learn more, visit   

About Wayne State University 
Wayne State University, located in the heart of Detroit’s Midtown Cultural Center, is a premier urban research institution offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students. For more information, visit

About the Presidential Sesquicentennial Symposium Series

As part of Wayne State University’s 2018 Sesquicentennial Celebration, President M. Roy Wilson will present a six-part symposia series featuring topics that reflect the institution’s rich legacy of excellence in academics and research. The series is proudly sponsored by Pepsi. Visit to learn more about Wayne State’s sesquicentennial.


Tracy Boyce
Phone: 313-577-0260

Subscribe to Today@Wayne

Direct to your inbox twice a week

Related articles