The winner of Fordham's 2017 Wonkathon is...

In Fordham’s fourth annual Wonkathon, twelve policy experts opined on how President Trump should structure his highly anticipated $20 billion school choice proposal:

To be maximally helpful to the folks inside the Administration and on the Hill who are actually working on this, we are seeking blog posts that focus on the nitty-gritty of how such an initiative should be structured. (Meaning we’re not interested here in debating whether choice is a good thing or whether it’s a good idea for the feds even to get involved with it. Though, to be clear, those questions are worth debating!)

Please draft a post that describes the contours of your proposal. Is it a federal tax credit and, if so, for whom? Individuals? Corporations? An expansion of 529 plans? A different kind of incentive for education savings? Something else? Would it support private school choice only, or other forms of choice as well, such as charters or magnet schools? Would it rely on state actions (such as the creation of a within-state tax credit scholarship program) or not? To what extent should it address (for example) student eligibility rules, regulations for participating schools, and accountability provisions at the federal level? Or will it leave that up to the states, or to scholarship granting organizations, or something else? For each of these decisions, make a case that yours is the best approach.

The resulting articles offered a wide range of great ideas from some of the wonkiest wonks in education reform. This year, it seems that teamwork makes the dream work.

Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the winners of Fordham’s 2017 Wonkathon: McKenzie Snow, Claire Voorhees, Adam Peshek and Patricia Levesque of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Their “Choice trumps: Supporting state success by expanding education options” came in with 43 percent of the vote.

Congratulations also to our runner-up, John Schilling, whose “A cooperative, constructive, and non-exclusive approach to a federal tax credit program” garnered 16 percent. In third place, “Putting kids first: An immediate way to help America's most vulnerable children,” by Darla M. Romfo won 9 percent, with “The Common Core-ification of school choice” by Lindsey Burke following closely with 8 percent.

Thanks to all the participants for another great Wonkathon, and congratulations again to this year’s Wisest Wonks: McKenzie Snow, Claire Voorhees, Adam Peshek and Patricia Levesque. All of this year’s articles are linked below as inspiration for you to continue wonking out, all year long.