2018 Harold Hotelling Memorial Lecture

The 2018 Harold Hotelling Memorial Lecture is coming up on October 15th. This year is the first time one of dad’s former students will be giving the lecture. Douglas Harris will be giving a lecture titled “Charter School City: What Detroit Can Learn From New Orleans”:

The changes in New Orleans schools after Hurricane Katrina represent the most radical school reform in the nation’s history. The state took over almost all schools and turned them over to private charter school operators working under performance-based contracts. Teachers no longer worked under union contracts or with tenure protections. School attendance zones were eliminated. These market-based school reforms increased accountability, school autonomy, and parental choice in ways not seen in more than a century of American public schooling. Harris will show that the reforms led to considerable improvement in a wide range of student outcomes. He will also explain how the lessons for other cities, and for the role of markets and governments, are more complicated than these results might suggest.

Dad supported of school of choice in the 90’s. He was an economist, and economists believe in markets. I think even published an op-ed in the newspaper pushing for school of choice.

I wish I could get his take on the intersection of school of choice and privatization. Now that I have kids, the state of education is suddenly a much more pressing matter for me.

Come by the Mary E Marburger Science and Engineering Auditorium at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, at 7pm on October 15th. The lectures are always interesting and, if you’re on the fence, there’s a dessert reception after. The anecdotes at the start always get me, but it’s nice to hear new stories 9 years later.

2016 Harold Hotelling Memorial Lecture

The video from the 2016 Harold Hotelling Memorial Lecture has just been posted. This is an annual lecture that Lawrence Technological University hosts in my father’s memory since his passing in 2009. He was a faculty member there and I was fortunate to be able to attend in October before the election.

This year the lecturer was Julianne Smith, former Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden. It’s a really valuable look at some of the issues that our next president is going to face and I encourage everyone to watch.

The first 9 minutes is an introduction that covers some memories of my father, and every year I’m amazed at how fresh the wounds of losing him are. I have tears running down my cheeks listening to stories about him, reminding me of how much I miss him.

Scott also remembers that shortly after Harold died, and for many months after, he would have this need to go and speak to him. We were in an economic crisis in 2009 and he would start down the hall to go to his office and then regret that Harold was not there anymore.

That’s something I still experience to this day.