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International Perspectives on Civic Values and School Choice
In the wake of the Supreme Court's landmark ruling upholding school choice, policymakers across the country are grappling with the challenge of funding and regulating private schools. Towns, cities, and states are experimenting with a variety of policies, including vouchers, tax credits, and charter schools. Meanwhile, public officials and citizens continue to debate the issues at the heart of the matter: Why should the government regulate education? Who should do the regulating? How should private schools be regulated, and how much?
These questions represent new terrain for many policymakers in the United States. Europe and Canada, however, have struggled with these issues for decades or, in some cases, even a century or more. In this groundbreaking volume, scholars from Europe and the United States come together to ask what Americans can learn from other countries' experience with publicly funded educational choice.
This experience is both extensive and varied. In England and Wales, parents play a significant role in selecting the schools their children will attend. In the Netherlands and much of Belgium, most students attend religious schools at government expense. In Canada, France and Germany, state-financed school choice is limited to circumstances that serve particular social and governmental needs. In Italy, school choice has just recently arrived on the policy agenda.
In analyzing these cases, the authors focus on how school choice policies have shaped and been shaped by civic values such as tolerance, civic cohesion, and integration across class, religious, and racial lines. They explore the systems of regulation, accountability, and control that accompany public funding, ranging from the testing-based mechanisms of Alberta to the more intrusive inspection systems of Britain, Germany, and France. And they discuss the relevance of these experiences for the United States. These essays illuminate many ways in which the public interest in education may be preserved or even enhanced in an era of increased parental choice. Based on a wealth of experience and expertise, Educating Citizens will aid policymakers and citizens as they consider historic changes in American public education policy.
Vouchers and Urban Schools
The voucher debate has been both intense and ideologically polarizing, in good part because so little is known about how voucher programs operate in practice. In The Education Gap, William Howell and Paul Peterson report new findings drawn from the most comprehensive study on vouchers conducted to date. Added to the paperback edition of this groundbreaking volume are the authors' insights into the latest school choice developments in American education, including new voucher initiatives, charter school expansion, and public-school choice under No Child Left Behind. The authors review the significance of state and federal court decisions as well as recent scholarly debates over choice impacts on student performance. In addition, the authors present new findings on which parents choose private schools and the consequences the decision has for their children's education. Updated and expanded, The Education Gap remains an indispensable source of original research on school vouchers. "This is the most important book ever written on the subject of vouchers." John E. Brandl, dean, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota "The Education Gap will provide an important intellectual battleground for the debate over vouchers for years to come." Alan B. Krueger, Princeton University "Must reading for anyone interested in the battle over vouchers in America." John Witte, University of Wisconsin
Mexico Confronts the Challenges of Global Competition
Today's Mexico is strongly determined to become a full player in the globalizing international economy. It has increased its manufacturing output in areas such as automobiles and electronics, and both corporate and government sectors would like to take greater strides toward being a full global player. But do the underlying institutional and cultural elements exist to support such an economic effort?
In The End of Nostalgia, editor Diana Villiers Negroponte and colleagues from both sides of the Rio Grande examine the path that Mexico will likely take in the near future. It remains a land in transition, from a one-party political system steeped in a colonial Spanish past toward a modern liberal democracy with open markets. What steps are necessary for this proud nation to continue its momentum toward effective participation in a highly competitive world?
Armando Chacón is the research director at the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness.
Arturo Franco has worked with Cementos de Mexico (CEMEX) and the World Bank. He was a Global Leadership fellow at the World Economic Forum on Latin America, 200811.
Eduardo Guerrero is a partner at Lantía Consultores in Mexico City, where he works on security assessment. He joined the Secretaría de Gobernación in December 2012.
Andrés Rozental holds the permanent rank of Eminent Ambassador of Mexico. He is president of Rozental & Asociados and is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Christopher Wilson is an associate at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Duncan Wood is a member of the Mexican National Research System and editorial adviser to Reforma newspaper. Since January 2013, he has been the director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
A Global View of the American School
The relative deficiencies of U.S. public schools are a serious concern to parents and policymakers. But they should be of concern to all Americans, as a globalizing world introduces new competition for talent, markets, capital, and opportunity. In Endangering Prosperity, a trio of experts on international education policy compares the performance of American schools against that of other nations. The net result is a mixed but largely disappointing picture that clearly shows where improvement is most needed. The authors' objective is not to explain the deep causes of past failures but to document how dramatically the U.S. school system has failed its students and its citizens. It is a wake-up call for structural reform. To move forward to a different and better future requires that we understand just how serious a situation America faces today.
For example, the authors consider the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an international mathematics examination. America is stuck in the middle of average scores, barely beating out European countries whose national economies are in the red zone. U.S. performance as measured against stronger economies is even weaker in total, 32 nations outperformed the United States. The authors also delve into comparative reading scores. A mere 31 percent of U.S. students in the class of 2011 could perform at the "proficient" level as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) program, compared with South Korea's result of 47 percent. And while some observers may downplay the significance of cross-globe comparisons, they should note that Canadian students are dramatically outpacing their U.S. counterparts as well.
Clearly something is wrong with this picture, and this book clearly explicates the costs of inaction. The time for incremental tweaking the system is long past wider, deeper, and more courageous steps are needed, as this book amply demonstrates with accessible prose, supported with hard data that simply cannot be ignored.
A Report on the Next Generation of Environmental Policy
Environmental policy has been the focus of reform efforts for more than a generation. Now policymakers face a new and challenging set of issues: how to develop strategies for attacking new environmental problems, how to develop better strategies for solving the old ones, and how to do both in ways that are more efficient, less taxing, and engender less political opposition. On one level, environmental performance is the problem. On a broader level, the question is how reshaped intergovernmental partnerships will affect how America is governed. This book charts the politics of the next generation of environmental policy: how citizens will sort competing goals and responsibilities, how conflict and collaboration will shape the policy options, and how the nation¡¯s political institutions will respond. These issues raise tough political problems that will define which options are viable and how different options will reshape politics. The contributors outline a path to fresh perspectives on the critical problems that must be addressed. Contributors: Christopher H. Foreman Jr. (University of Maryland, Brookings Institution), Donald F. Kettl (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brookings Institution), Shelley H. Metzenbaum (University of Maryland), Barry G. Rabe (University of Michigan), Graham K. Wilson (University of Wisconsin-Madison) About the Editor Donald F. Kettl is professor of public affairs and political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His recent books include The Global Public Management Revolution: A Report on the Transformation of Governance (Brookings, 2000) and The Transformation of Governance: Public Administration for the 21st Century.
Civility and Deliberation in the U.S. Senate
What¡'s happened to the longstanding traditions of civility and decorum within the world's greatest deliberative body? While the Senate hasn't yet become as rancorous as the House, over the past three decades it has grown noticeably less collegial. In Esteemed Colleagues, leading congressional scholars address the extent to which civility has declined in the U.S. Senate, and how that decline has affected our political system. The contributors analyze the relationships between Senators, shaped by high levels of both individualism and partisanship, and how these ties shape the deliberation of issues before the chamber. Civility and deliberation have changed in recent decades, up to and including the Clinton impeachment process, and the book sheds light on both the current American politics and the broad issues of representation, responsiveness, and capacity within our governmental institutions.
Can the eurozone's emergence from crisis turn into a real economic recovery and a new vision for Europe's future? Or is Europe heading for a "lost decade" in terms of growth and a rise in old style nationalism? Kemal Dervi and Jacques Mistral have assembled an international group of economic analysts who provide perspectives on the most audacious supranational governance experiment in history. Will the crisis mark the end of the dream of "ever closer union" or lead to a renewed impetus to integrate, perhaps taking novel forms?
Among the key issues explored are the
· Onset, evolution, and ramifications of the euro crisis from the perspective of three countries especially hard hit Greece, Italy, and Spain.
· Concerns, priorities, and issues in France and Germany, the couple that has so far always driven European integration.
· Effects and lessons in two key policy areas: banking union and social policies.
The volume concludes with a possible renewed vision for the EU in the 2020s, including much greater political integration but where some countries may keep their national currencies and share less of their sovereignty. It is a vision of two Europes within one, ready for the twenty-first century.
Trends, Effects, and Proposals for Reform
The Evolving Pension System examines the foundations and the future of the private pension system. It provides a broad overview of the underlying assumptions, characteristics, and effects of existing pension policy, as well as alternative views on how public policy toward pensions should evolve in the future. Contributors include Robert Clark (North Carolina State University), Eric Engen (Federal Reserve Board), William G. Gale (Brookings Institution), Theodore Groom (Groom Law Group, Chartered), Daniel Halperin (Harvard), Alicia Munnell (Boston College), Leslie Papke (Michigan State University), Joseph Quinn (Boston College), Sylvester Schieber (Watson Wyatt), John B. Shoven (Stanford), and Jack Vanderhei (Temple University and EBRI). William G. Gale is the Joseph A. Pechman Fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. John B. Shoven is Charles R. Schwab Professor at Stanford University. Mark J. Warshawsky is director of research at the TIAA-CREF Institute.
Lessons from the Past, Preparation for the Future
Throughout the 1990s, numerous financial crises rocked the world financial sector. The Asian bubble burst, for example; Argentina and Brazil suffered currency crises; and the post-Soviet economy bottomed out in Russia. In Financial Crises, a distinguished group of economists and policy analysts examine and draw lessons from attempts to recover from past crises. They also consider some potential hazards facing the world economy in the 21st century and discuss ways to avoid them and minimize the severity of any future downturn. This important new volume emerges from the seventh annual conference on emerging markets finance, cosponsored and organized by the World Bank and the Brookings Institution. In the book, noted experts address the following questions: How effective were post-crisis policies in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and East and Central Asia? Where do international financial markets stand ten years after the worldwide debt crisis? How can the provision of financial services resume vigorously, yet safely? What are the viable policy options for reducing systemic financial vulnerability? What will the next emerging-market financial crisis look like? Will lessons learned from past experiences help to avoid future disasters? How can nations reform their pension systems to deal with retirement challenges in the 21st century?
The rapid spread and far-reaching impact of the global financial crisis have highlighted the need for strengthening financial systems in advanced economies and emerging markets. Emerging markets face particular challenges in developing their nascent financial systems and making them resilient to domestic and external shocks. Financial reforms are critical to these economies as they pursue programs of high and sustainable growth.
In this timely volume Masahiro Kawai, Eswar Prasad, and their contributors offer a systematic overview of recent developments in and the latest thinking about regulatory frameworks in both advanced countries and emerging markets. Their analyses and observations clearly point out the challenges to improving regulation, efficiency of markets, and access to the fi nancial system. Policymakers and financial managers in emerging markets are struggling to learn from the crisis and will need to grapple with some key questions as they restructure and reform their financial markets:
What lessons does the global financial crisis of 200709 offer for the establishment of efficient and flexible regulatory structures?
How can policymakers develop broader financial markets while managing the associated risks?
How or should they make the formal financial system more accessible to more people?
How might they best contend with multinational financial institutions?
This book is an important step in getting a better grasp of these issues and making progress toward solutions that strike a balance between promoting financial market development and efficiency on the one hand, and ensuring financial stability on the other.