The Amherst College Education Studies Initiative welcomes Sam Abrams, director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, as the second speaker of our 2018–2019 interdisciplinary series.
In this lecture, Abrams will address the contemporary debate about vouchers, charter schools, tuition tax credits and how we got here. With particular attention to the case for vouchers made by Milton Friedman from 1955 to 2000, Abrams will trace the development of an idea, its modifications by Friedman's allies and opponents, and its impact in Chile and Sweden as well as the United States.
Outside of his directorship at the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Dr. Abrams is the author of Education and the Commercial Mindset (Harvard University Press, 2016). He was previously a high school teacher for 18 years. He grew up in nearby Holyoke, Mass., and earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at Columbia. In addition to privatization, his areas of interest include curriculum design and comparative education. For his advancement of the understanding of Finnish education in the United States, the Finnish government made Abrams a Knight, First Class, Order of the Lion of Finland, in 2014.