ERIC Number: ED331182
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
French Private School Aid Policy, 1959-1985: An Example of a Controlled Choice Program.
Fowler, Frances C.
Those aspects of the French educational policy pertinent to the controlled choice issue in the United States are examined in this paper. A purpose is to overcome both the theoretical and empirical weaknesses of the controlled choice literature. First, arguments for the regulation of choice policies are related to the "neo-pluralistic" political theory. Concepts from this tradition are then used to evaluate a French school choice program that has been in effect for over 30 years, concluding with a discussion of the implications for American policy. Methodology was based on document analysis of French primary sources, supplemented by interviews with 16 French policy actors. Research questions centered on policy structure; mechanisms used to address problems of equality, civic consciousness, the public agenda, and alienation of control; and policy success. A conclusion is that, despite cultural differences such as the academic rigor of French public schools, controlled choice plans can work. Recommendations include: (1) improve all schools to deemphasize the choice issue; (2) explore alternatives to the choice plans currently under consideration in the United States, which risk alienation of final control and distortion of the public agenda; and (3) build data-gathering and cost monitoring procedures into school choice policy legislation. (54 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: France; Pluralism
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).