ERIC Number: ED214237
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Education Vouchers: Boon or Bane?
Young, David G.
The idea of educational vouchers goes back to Adam Smith in 1778, according to this examination of past and present discussions about vouchers. The author begins by defining educational vouchers and summarizing the idea's history, especially since its revival in 1955 by economist Milton Friedman. Seven models of voucher systems are briefly outlined. One of the models, Christopher Jencks' regulated compensatory system, is described in detail and the results of its testing in the Alum Rock (California) Union Elementary School District are discussed. The author then reviews the arguments for and against vouchers. Supporters, he notes, claim that vouchers would promote social and economic equality, healthy competition among schools, accountability to parents, lesser financial pressures on nonpublic schools, and other benefits. Opponents' arguments, says the author, deal with social inequality, relationships between religion and public education, the appropriateness of the market analogy to education, and economic and administrative problems. The author points out the implications of regulated and unregulated voucher systems for the governance, funding, and delivery of education and concludes by reviewing the alternatives to vouchers available both generally and specifically in Alberta (Canada). (RW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alberta Dept. of Education, Edmonton. Planning and Research Branch.