Public School System Charged with Fraud: Guilty or Not Guilty?

Viva Las Vegas! I was asked by FreedomFest to participate in Las Vegas as an expert witness for the defense in their upcoming event “Public School System on Trial.” FreedomFest is a gathering of about 2,000 Libertarian-minded folk. The event is well-known for its annual “mock trial.” The “trial” takes on an important issue and looks at it from all sides, with a judge, star witnesses, defense and prosecuting attorneys. The jury is made up of FreedomFest attendees. Here is selection of issues on trial from past years:

Here is what FreedomFest says about the Education mock trial.

The concept of public schooling in the United States has been around for a long time. As early as the 1600s, communities created structures of required and free public education and schooling. It wasn’t until the 1800s that the public school system really took shape in the United States.

Since that time, public schools have had a mixed reputation. For some, the local public school is a symbol of civic pride, community, service and progress. But in other ways, the public school system has instituted segregation, inequality, even corruption.

What is the state of our public school system today? With the emergence of common core, national standards, increasing taxes, school shootings, depleting test scores, standardized tests, diminishing arts, recess and physical education, is the public school system HELPING or HURTING our efforts to educate our children and improve our society?

And even more important, is the public school system even doing what it claims is it’s purpose? Is it EDUCATING our children or actually DEFRAUDING the American public?

In our famous mock trial this year, we’ll bring together top-notch experts in the public school system to charge the system with its shortcomings and also defend it from its detractors.

Who is right? What’s the answer for the future of American public education? The school system as it is now? Or something VERY different?

You’ll be there for the historic discussion. And you’ll get to weigh in! We’ll take YOUR vote at the end to see who wins the case.

The graphic they gave me:

The Judge

Lisa Kennedy joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in 2012 and is the host of the primetime program, “Kennedy,” which airs Monday through Friday at 10:00 PM/ET on the Fox Business Network. In addition to her role on FBN, Kennedy is a contributor to

The Prosecution Team

Vicki Alger is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, and author of the book Failure: The Federal “Misedukation” of America’s Children.

Bob Bowdon runs Choice Media, a national education newsgroup that publishes a daily newswire, website (ChoiceMedia.TV), Twitter feed (@ChoiceMediaTV) and national event calendar about education reform and American schools.

Corey A. DeAngelis is a policy analyst at the Cato Center for Educational Freedom. He is also a policy advisor and C\contributing editor for the Heartland Institute.

The Defense Team

Julian Vasquez Heilig  is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State University Sacramento. He also serves as the California NAACP Education Chair.

Sen. Richard “Tick” Segerblom was raised in Boulder City, Nevada. A third generation Nevadan, Tick obtained a BA from Pomona College and a law degree from the University of Denver. He has been listed as one of Nevada’s top employment lawyers in “The Best Lawyers in America.”

Lisa Sparks is the Inaugural Dean of the School of Communication and Endowed Professor at Chapman University. She of is a highly regarded teacher-scholar whose published work spans more than 150 research articles and scholarly book chapters, and is the author and editor of 12 books.

The trial will take place on July 13, 2018 from 5:15pm – 6:30pm in the Paris Hotel Las Vegas. There is a possibility that the Mock Trial will be broadcast on CSPAN again this year.

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