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CSLS Speaker Series: MARK BRILLIANT at 12:45p

Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

The Center for the Study of Law and Society
is pleased to announce the next talk in the Fall 2017 CSLS Speaker Series,

Mark Brilliant is Associate Professor of History and American Studies
at the University of California, Berkeley.

He will be presenting his current research:
“To Liberate From the Accident of Family Wealth:
How Liberals Revived and Revised the Case for School Vouchers
in the 1960s and 1970s and Paved the Way to Zelman

Vouchers are exhibit number one in contemporary discussions of “neoliberalism at work” in K-12 education. From this perspective, a straight historical line connects Milton Friedman to Ronald Reagan to the United States Supreme Court’s pro-voucher ruling in Zelman in 2002, which Erwin Chemerinsky described in 2004 as a “triumph of conservative ideology.” Yet, despite popular and scholarly conflations of vouchers with conservatism, vouchers receive little, if any, attention in leading histories of the rise of the right in the post-World War II United States, which focus instead on a host of other educational issues as animating conservatives in the quarter century or so after Friedman’s seminal 1955 essay, “The Role of Government in Education.” This is not to say that vouchers vanished from the “mainstream,” as leading educational historian and voucher critic Diane Ravitch claims, waiting the day when Reagan would revive and popularize Friedman’s 1955 defense of them. Rather, the case for vouchers would take an ideological turn to the left during the 1960s and 1970s. This talk will explore that left turn, focusing on the role of a couple of Berkeley law professors – Jack Coons and Steve Sugarman – in engineering it alongside, and inextricably bound to, their much better-known efforts on behalf of school finance reform.

Please join us on Monday, September 18 from 12:45-2:00p in the Philip Selznick Seminar Room, 2240 Piedmont Ave.

Coffee and water are provided. We invite you to bring your own “bag lunch.”

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Jonathan Simon, Faculty Director
Rosann Greenspan, Executive Director


Monday, September 18, 2017
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Center for the Study of Law and Society


Philip Selznick Seminar Room
2240 Piedmont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720-2150 United States
+ Google Map

Events are wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, contact the organizer of the event. Advance notice is kindly requested.

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