Summit Day 2: School Choice Research Panel

What does the research say about best practices in designing school choice legislation? Scholarship application processes? State government regulations and evaluations?

Want to pick the brains of the top researchers in the field?

Our longtime friend Dr. Patrick Wolf has intimate knowledge on education research taking place across the country and we welcome back Dr. John Witte, who has studied educational choice in Wisconsin for decades.

Join us in Milwaukee on May 19th for this must-attend panel. This panel is always standing room only, you won’t want to miss it! 




Dr. Patrick J. Wolf
Dr. Patrick J. Wolf is a Distinguished Professor of Education Policy and 21st Century Endowed Chair in School Choice in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions. He previously taught at Columbia and Georgetown University. Wolf has worked as a pizza deliverer, a state government administrator, an advocate for people with hearing impairments, and a janitor’s assistant, though not necessarily in that order. As principal investigator of the School Choice Demonstration Project he has led longitudinal evaluations of school voucher programs in Washington, DC; Milwaukee, WI; and the state of Louisiana. Research projects led or co-led by Dr. Wolf have been awarded 34 research grants and contracts totaling nearly $22 million. He has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited five books and over 175 journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and policy reports on private school choice, public charter schools, civic values, special education, public management, and campaign finance. Most of his school choice research is available at

Dr. Wolf has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress and state legislatures. His school choice research has been discussed across many media venues and Education Week consistently ranks him among the most influential education policy academics.

His 1997 article on Reinventing Government won the national Best Article Award of the Academy of Management, Division on Public and Nonprofit Management. He received the Significant Research Award of the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions in 2011 and was one of the 10 Most Outstanding Faculty Members at the University of Arkansas in 2016. His papers have won prizes at the Global Home Education Conference in 2015 and the International School Choice & Reform Conference in 2017. A 1987 graduate of the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), he received his Ph.D. in political science from the Government Department at Harvard University in 1995.


Dr. John Witte
Dr. John Witte is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Affairs and was Director of the La Follette School for three years. Following three years as a naval officer, he received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in 1978. His research has focused on tax policy, politics and education, including school choice, vouchers and charter schools. One project, supported by the U.S. Department of Education and the Spencer Foundation, examined charter schools. He was principal investigator for a research team studying the longitudinal effects of the Milwaukee school voucher program. He has been a fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. In 2012 he served as founding dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan, a university he help start going back to 2010.

Professor Witte is author or co-author of eight books and more than 75 articles or book chapters. Witte has made seminal research contributions in budget and tax policy and in education policy. His books, The Politics and Development of the Federal Income Tax (University of Wisconsin Press, 1985) and The Market Approach to Education: Analysis of America’s First Voucher Program (Princeton University Press, 2000), are considered landmark works by scholars and policy practitioners alike.