ERIC Number: ED354612
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Feb
Private Schools and Parental Choice: Dubious Assumptions, Frail Claims, and Excessive Hyperbole. Occasional Paper.
Corwin, Ronald G.
The preoccupation with choice between public and private schools offered under voucher programs obscures the greater problem of a lack of variety in the present educational system. If providing a greater variety of school structures and improving the educational system is the objective, competition between the public and private sectors will not achieve that goal. A comprehensive system of specialized schools is needed that includes cooperative relationships among many types of schools in the public and private sectors. The assertion that competition, or marketplace forces, will lead to a better educational system is invalid. Private schools represent only about 12 percent of all school enrollment and, unlike public schools, can be selective in the students they accept. Successful small, experimental programs tried in private schools may not be effective when attempted on a larger scale. And many private schools are unwilling or unable to participate in a voucher program. Eliminating bureaucracy is also a faulty reason for establishing a voucher system. Bureaucracy provides structure and fairness to the educational system. A system of specialized schools with special focuses that encourages cooperation and collaboration between private and public schools can provide the educational improvements voucher advocates seek. (Contains 63 references.) (JPT)
Descriptors: Bureaucracy, Competition, Educational Improvement, Educational Vouchers, Elementary Secondary Education, Private Schools, Public Schools, School Choice
Southwest Regional Laboratory, 4665 Lampson Avenue, Los Alamitos, CA 90720.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Regional Lab., Los Alamitos, CA.