Aaron Saiger on Religion & Charter Schools (Encore Presentation)
Date: April 3rd, 2016

Is the charter school movement changing the way we think about religious education in the United States?  Prof. Aaron Saiger of Fordham University Law School discusses this topic from a historical and legal framework, demonstrating how various religious communities have adapted to more market-oriented approaches to public education.  We review changes in the educational landscape over the course of the 20th century and how various court cases affected how religion mixes (or doesn’t mix) with public school curriculum.  Prof. Saiger then talks about the rise of charter schools in the 1990s and what distinct factors define such educational entities.  The conversation moves to examine how religion can then be reconciled with these novel “hybrid” (public/private) schools, using examples from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic institutions.  We finish by examining some recent court cases and how they may impact the future of charter schools.  Recorded: March 28, 2014.


Prof. Aaron Saiger’s bio at Fordham Law School.

Religious Consumers and Institutional Change in American Public Schooling: Cases from Jewish Education,” by Aaron Saiger in the Journal of Law, Religion, and State.

Charter Schools, the Establishment Clause, and the Neoliberal Turn in Public Education,” by Aaron Saiger in the Cardozo Law Review.

The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education, by David Tyack (mentioned in podcast).

The Spirit of the Law: Religious Voices and the Constitution in Modern America, by Sarah Barringer Gordon (an additional resource suggested by Prof. Saiger).


Kevin den Dulk on Religion, Education, and Civic Engagement.

Carmel Chiswick on the Economics of American Judaism.

Hunter Baker on the Future of Higher Education.

Joseph Castleberry on Religious-Based Higher Education.

Rick Walston on Distance Learning and Seminary Education.

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