The Case against School Choice: Politics, Markets, and Fools


Public school choice is a policy gaining wide popular and political support. Spurred by perceptions of an education system in crisis, proponents of school choice argue that an education marketplace will produce better schools. Give students and parents choice, these advocates claim, and schools will be forced to improve or close. The promise of a choice-based system, however, is largely unfulfilled. Despite all the rhetoric, the successes of existing choice systems are questionable, and the theories and assumptions that provide intellectual support for choice have never been systematically tested. This book provides that test. Professors Smith and Meier show that a choice-based system will not improve American education. Choice theorists have exaggerated the decline in educational performance and misidentified its causes. Their proposed market cure is modeled on unfounded assumptions. Persuasive though it may sound, the school choice argument is demonstrably false and misleading. And what is worse, it is likely to promote racial, religious, and socio-economic segregation.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Armonk, NY
Publication year:
  • 1995


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