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National Invitational Conference
School Choice and School Improvement:
Research in State, District & Community Contexts

October 25-27, 2009
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN
Deadline for Proposals: February 25, 2009

The National Center on School Choice (NCSC) announces its second
national conference, which will examine choice as it occurs in specific
contexts and locales. In keeping with the center’s mission, the purpose
of the conference is neither to advocate nor oppose school choice.
Rather, the conference and a related edited book will bring together
exemplary research on education choice options—vouchers and tuition tax
credits, charter and magnet schools, transfer options under No Child
Left Behind—as defined and limited by public policy and geographical
boundaries. In particular, the conference will examine how communities,
districts and states implement choice as a strategy for improving
schools and student outcomes.

This is a call for papers that address the contextual influences on
school choice—that is, the implementation and effects of school choice
in different contexts. These may draw on social science theory or
“theories of action” that portray program designers’ hypothesized
chains of causation to explain such phenomena as choice thriving in some
places and being stymied in others. Papers may address governance,
innovation, teaching and learning, curriculum and instruction, parent
and community involvement, leadership, and outcomes for students in
choice contexts in defined locales. Preference will be given to studies
that identify causal relationships between student outcomes and types of
school choice, implementation of school choice, or contextual factors by
means of experimental or quasi-experimental research designs and
longitudinal studies.

A subset of papers from the conference will be reviewed for an edited
book. Submission implies author(s) consent to consideration for
publication. NCSC-affiliated scholars will review proposals and final

Researchers working in the field are invited to electronically submit
2-3 page abstracts and one-paragraph bios by February 25, 2009.
Abstracts, bios, and inquiries should be sent to Genevieve Zottola

Selection and notification will take place by March 26, 2009. First
draft papers will be due to discussants by July 15, 2009. Final papers
will be due by September 4, 2009.

Authors of papers accepted for presentation will receive a $1,000
honorarium upon receipt of final papers, conference accommodations and
reimbursed economy travel costs. Not all papers accepted for the
conference will be considered for publication in the edited book.
Authors of papers chosen for the edited book will receive an additional
$1,000 honorarium for revisions to prepare the conference paper for