ERIC Number: ED343207
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Educational Choice. A Background Paper.
Quality Education for Minorities Network, Washington, DC.
This paper addresses school choice, one proposal to address parental involvement concerns, focusing on historical background, definitions, rationale for advocating choice, implementation strategies, and implications for minorities and low-income families. In the past, transfer payment programs such as tuition tax credits and vouchers were advocated to pay for students whose parents elected to send them to private or parochial schools. Redefining such transfers as scholarships may sound less offensive, but the outcome (privatization of education) is still the same. Choice proponents predicate their advocacy primarily on the concepts of empowerment and improvement. Although marketplace adherents Chubb and Moe advocate abolishing school boards, Dennis Evans questions the wisdom of entrusting educational decision-making to corporate boardrooms. The National Education Association supports choice at the local level, while the ASCD believes the real question is how to equalize opportunities for choice. Recent studies indicate that school choice programs could foster a new, improved sorting machine that concentrates scarce resources on high-achieving student and limits options for poor and minority students. Many planning, financial, structural, and legal problems must be addressed, along with the multitiered school systems resulting from choice. Important questions and principals to guide choice plan considerations are provided. Choice by itself is no panacea for systemic or sustained educational reform. (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Quality Education for Minorities Network, Washington, DC.