A Critique of Private Schools, Vouchers, and the School Choice Movement

One of the big ideas at the heart of the education reform movement in many countries is the concept of “school choice”. The idea is that by allowing parents to choose schools for their children, policymakers can use the principle of market competition to force schools to improve. By forcing schools to compete for students to receive funding, school choice is meant to force schools to make themselves more appealing to parents. In theory, school choice doesn’t even increase inequality, because vouchers can be issued allowing parents to send their kids to private schools that would otherwise be too expensive. This is intuitively appealing, but does it hold up against scrutiny?

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