ERIC Number: ED303860
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Value Polarities and Complementarities in American Education Policy Making: Efficiency and Choice.
Kearney, C. Philip
American educational policy is based on three preeminent values: equity, efficiency, and choice. The problem is that these values are often antithetical: an emphasis on one deemphasizes the others. Coming to an acceptable balance among all three values is therefore the essence of public policymaking. Accordingly, this paper takes one of these pairs--efficiency and choice--and discusses how they have been defined, how they act sometimes in harmony and sometimes in opposition, and how the interaction between them can be used to explain instances of policymaking. First, the conventional dictionary definitions of efficiency and choice are reviewed. Second, common uses of the terms are discussed, and changes in meaning over time are reviewed, specifically as these terms are used in an educational context. A discussion ensues of ways of speaking about efficiency and choice in a policymaking context. Finally, the two values are used as explanatory concepts to describe and analyze a specific instance of federal educational policy formation: the adoption and implementation of the Federal Education Block Grant. References are included. (TE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).