How Not to Be a Hypocrite: School Choice for the Morally Perplexed Parent

How Not to Be a Hypocrite: School Choice for the Morally Perplexed Parent

How Not to Be a Hypocrite: School Choice for the Morally Perplexed Parent

How Not to Be a Hypocrite: School Choice for the Morally Perplexed Parent

Synopsis

How not to be a hypocrite: the indispensable guide to school choice that morally perplexed parents have been waiting for. Many of us believe in social justice and equality of opportunity - but we also want the best for our kids. How can we square our political principles with our special concern for our own children? This marvellous book takes us through the moral minefield that is school choice today. Does a commitment to social justice mean you have to send your children to the local comprehensive - regardless of its academic results? Is it hypocritical to disapprove of private schools and yet send your child to one? Some parents feel guilty but shouldn't. Others should feel guilty but don't. Read How Not to be a Hypocrite , then answer the questionnaire, and work out where you stand on this crucial issue.

Excerpt

This book is for parents who have a choice about what kind of school their children go to and find that the choice raises moral dilemmas.

Many parents have little choice. They can't afford to go private, or to move into the catchment area of a better state school. Their children are not judged clever enough to get into schools that select by ability. Those in this position may find the book's emphasis on choice irrelevant and elitist. There are, indeed, worse things than middle-class angst.

Lots of parents who do have a choice don't find that it raises moral dilemmas. For them it is obvious that parents can, perhaps should, try to get their children into whatever school will be best for them. They will buy their way out of the state system, move house, put their children in for scholarships, hope they get into grammar schools, without even a twinge of conscience. They may find it hard to choose. Lots of different factors have to be taken into account, information has to be gathered, fine on-balance judgements have to be made. Any decision is likely to involve a fair amount of hope and guesswork. All this is difficult enough, but the difficulty is not moral. The focus here is simply on which schools are indeed 'best' and what strategies for getting children into them are most likely to succeed. Those who take this view may find the book's emphasis on morality bizarre or pious.

Parents aware of the moral issues raised by school choice face different problems. Where others worry about which school will be best for their children, they agonise about whether they are justified in seeking the best. They think there is something wrong with an education system that permits children's chances in life to be influenced by their parents'

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