Is Privatization through Education Vouchers Really the Answer? A Comment
Government-financed school vouchers promise to improve consumer choice while still providing the public funding needed for families to invest adequately in their children's education. But politically and in practice, the choice that vouchers offer can mean many things, from eliminating neighborhood residency as a condition for attending a public school to allowing groups of parents and teachers to form their own public schools (charter schools in the United States, for example). And it can mean an educational system that is in part publicly funded but that is privately owned and operated with no public regulation. Choice through vouchers can also produce undesirable side effects that more than offset their optimistic promises. In this context, E. G. West presents a particular version of the case for vouchers. Although he allows for a range of possibilities, he puts primary emphasis on the privatization of education. This version of choice has to be distinguished from one that limits increased choice to public schools and from the use of vouchers to improve education for the poor. The three emphases are different, mainly in what they contend are the social benefits and costs of various degrees of choice. Whereas the case presented by West may appeal at an abstract level, I argue that the evidence supporting it is at best mixed and possibly negative.
Volume (Year): 12 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://wbro.oxfordjournals.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Willms, J. Douglas & Echols, Frank & Willms, J. Douglas, 1992. "Alert and inert clients: The Scottish experience of parental choice of schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 339-350, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:12:y:1997:i:1:p:105-16. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.