podcastED: Matt Ladner interviews Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Chad Aldis

In this podcast video, redefinED’s executive editor speaks with longtime education choice advocate Chad Aldis, vice president for Ohio policy and advocacy at Fordham, wo previously served as executive director of School Choice Ohio and was Ohio State director for StudentsFirst.

Ladner and Aldis discuss a recent Fordham study that mapped out open enrollment policies across Ohio after some media outlets questioned whether open enrollment education choice policies exacerbated school segregation. The study concluded they do not, it brought to light something more alarming.

Under state law, districts choose whether to accept nonresident students. Most suburban districts in Ohio have kept their doors shut. Despite being public agencies – often boasting of being “open to all” – these school systems deny children access just because they don’t have the right address.

“Let’s be real about this … no, you’re not to open to everybody. You’re open to everyone who can pay the price of admission … The price of admission is property taxes.”


·       Aldis’s critique of the current system, which results in high-wealth suburban school districts “walling out” poorer students from urban centers, who have been shown to benefit the most from education choice

·       How Ohio’s open enrollment system is different in rural counties

·       How rules restricting charter schools to urban areas further restricts choices for minority and low-income families

·       Comparisons with another education choice state, Arizona

·       What can be done to correct the inequities caused by Ohio’s open enrollment choice system



One Comment

  1. Ohio, and similar states, should begin by abolishing incompetent districts like, perhaps, those in Columbus, Dayton, Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati (whose students appear to strike fear into surrounding districts), thereby forcing surrounding districts to accept such children, and to abolish those suburban districts, as well, if they refuse, thereby consolidating over 600 districts into a much smaller number of regions, whose municipalities should thereafter control the schools, with inter-municipal transfers available for upper secondary education programmes that not every small city can afford to host: this should improve diversity & equitable access in states thus governing their education systems.