School Choice and Social Justice

By Harry Brighouse | Go to book overview
Save to active project

2 The Case for Choice


School choice is the leading idea of educational reform in the English-speaking world today. Since the late 1970s it has not only been a central policy prescription of the new right, but also one that has helped to forge the coalition of conservatives and libertarians that has kept the new right politically viable. The idea that parents should choose which schools their children attend neatly appeals to both the ideological commitment to the market of the libertarian right and the 'family values' agenda of genuine conservatives, thus helping to diffuse the profound disagreements these two groups have about the proper content and goals of the educational curriculum.

In practice, the policy has had variable success. The England and Wales—henceforth referred to as the UK, with apologies—Education Reform Act (ERA) of 1988 embodies a highly regulated version of school choice, which allows parents to choose among government-run schools all of which are constrained by a detailed national curriculum, and which also gives schools the power to select among applicants. In 1989 New Zealand adopted a set of reforms devolving to public schools far more responsibility for how they were run. It has recently adopted a pilot programme whereby disadvantaged children are funded by the government to attend private schools chosen by their parents. Similar reforms have been adopted by many states in Australia, and the Federal Australian government subsidizes all private schools, with the size of the subsidy determined by the mission and the resources of the school in question. 1


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
School Choice and Social Justice


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 222

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?