The case for educational equality given in Chapter 6 is very powerful. But, as was the case with autonomy, demonstrating the case is simply not enough. We have to show, further, that the objections to the ideal, to the idea that it should be a primary consideration in guiding educational policy, have to be addressed. In this chapter I shall address a series of such objections. The upshot is that educational equality is an ideal which must, indeed, guide the design of educational institutions. The value invoked by opponents of school choice is a legitimate value. Whether it successfully impugns school choice will be discussed in Chapter 8 .
The first charge against educational equality is that it is not, in fact, even a coherent value. If it is not coherent—if, in John Wilson's phrase, it does not make sense—then it obviously cannot guide educational policy. Wilson, in his article, 'Does equality (of opportunity) make sense in education?', 1 takes as his target 'equality of opportunity in education', but one of his renderings of this principle is sufficiently close to the principle of educational equality I have elaborated and defended for consideration of his objections to be relevant. His argument proceeds in two stages. First he argues that equality of opportunity in education, insofar as we can make sense of it, is an unappealing goal, and then that it is not even clear that we can make sense of it. Second, he correctly identifies a fallback position for those persuaded by his initial argument, which is something like equality of educational resources: against this position he again argues that it is unappealing insofar as we can make sense of it, and that it is not clear that we can even make sense of it.
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Publication information: Book title: School Choice and Social Justice. Contributors: Harry Brighouse - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 141.
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