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School Choice Tradeoffs

Liberty, Equity, and Diversity

By R. Kenneth Godwin and Frank R. Kemerer

Publication Year: 2002

An overview of the issues in school choice.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. xii


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pp. xiii

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pp. xv-xviii

AN OPTIMAL EDUCATIONAL POLICY in a liberal democracy goes beyond teaching literacy and numeracy. It also supports the learning of moral reasoning, political tolerance, respect for diversity, and citizenship. Educational policy should value individual liberty and equality of opportunity for all people, and it should create mechanisms to foster efficiency

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ONE. School Choice Options and Issues: An Overview

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pp. 1-17

WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION POLICY, Americans want it all. We demand better test score results for all students, greater equality of opportunity, respect for diversity, preparation for good citizenship, efficiency, regulatory accountability, the development of autonomy in students, and preparation for jobs in a postindustrial society. But it is impossible...

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TWO. The Outcomes of School Choice Policies

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pp. 18-64

IN WILLIAM STYRON’S powerful and poignant novel Sophie’s Choice, a concentration camp guard forces Sophie to choose which of her two children will have a chance to live and which one will not. Opponents of expanding school choice assert that increasing school choice creates a similar choice for our society. Increased choice raises the question ‘‘Which...

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THREE. Political Theory and School Choice

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pp. 65-97

THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER dealt with such empirical questions as what is the current situation of low-income children in the inner cities, who chooses alternatives to attendance-zone schools, and what have been the outcomes of those choices. For these questions to have meaning for public policy we must place them in a normative context.We want to know what...

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FOUR. Parent Rights, School Choice, and Equality of Opportunity

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pp. 98-133

IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER, education philosophy constituted the lens through which we viewed tradeoffs inherent in considering the claims of parents versus the state for controlling the education of children. In this chapter, constitutional law is our lens for looking at tradeoffs inherent in balancing parents’ right to control the education of their children against...

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FIVE. Vouchers and Tax Benefits: Tradeoffs between Religious Freedom and Separation of Church and State

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pp. 134-168

IN CHAPTER 3, we explored contrasting positions between theorists who view education as a matter for parental determination and theorists who consider education too important to the maintenance of a democracy to leave to parent idiosyncrasies and prejudices.We observed that the former argue that by inculcating a set of values some parents abhor, a ....

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SIX. The Economics of Choice

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pp. 169-193

EDUCATION IS THE single largest government expenditure of state and local governments. For this reason, any education policy proposal must answer the questions: How much will it cost? How will the state raise the funds? and, What will be the long-term effects on expenditures and revenues? In this chapter we answer these questions for alternative school...

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SEVEN. School Choice Regulation: Accountability versus Autonomy

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pp. 194-226

SUPPOSE THAT THE STATE enacted a voucher program that enabled parents to receive tax money to send their children to a public or private school of their choice. Which of these accountability measures should the private schools be required to meet?...

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EIGHT. The Politics of Choice and a Proposed School Choice Policy

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pp. 227-250

AMERICAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS make expanding school choice to the private sector extremely difficult. James Madison designed the Constitution to prevent changes that might harm existing interests, and his vision of limited government remains in place. We can see this clearly at the national level. Such changes as the passage of Social Security...


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pp. 251-289

Selected References

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pp. 291-302


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pp. 303-315

E-ISBN-13: 9780292798625
E-ISBN-10: 0292798628
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292728424
Print-ISBN-10: 0292728425

Page Count: 335
Illustrations: 7 figures, 13 tables
Publication Year: 2002