ERIC Number: ED314518
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Educational Choice: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Mediocrity in American Education and What Can Be Done about It. Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Report, Volume 2, No. 3.
Chubb, John E.; Moe, Terry M.
Parental choice represents a promising approach to school improvement; it eliminates the excessive regulation, inefficient operation, and ineffective service that characterize the public monopolies that American schools and school systems have become. However, school reformers should bear in mind the following key points: (1) school performance can be easily undermined by well-intentioned reform unless schools are given the autonomy to develop their organization themselves; (2) discretion and authority for decision-making should be given to the schools; (3) school competition and parental choice, not administrative accountability, are likely to encourage the development of autonomous schools that perform effectively; and (4) schools must be freed from the control of central education authorities. The following issues of interest to politicians, journalists, administrators, and educators are discussed: (1) recent trends in learning, student achievement, and school performance; (2) the relationship between school organization and school performance; (3) the organizational characteristics of effective schools; (4) the importance of autonomy from outside authority; (5) the consequences of the many school reforms and improvements of the 1980s; (6) promising approaches to school improvement; (7) the operation, effectiveness, and outcomes of a system of competition and choice; (8) the problems of a system based on the demands of parents and students who do not really know what is best for them; (9) the cost of transporting students; and (10) participation of private schools. A list of 41 references is included. (FMW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: John M. Olin Foundation, Inc., Alton, IL.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Policy Research Inst., Milwaukee.