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ERIC Number: ED508201
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Feb-2
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Expanding Choice in Elementary and Secondary Education: A Report on Rethinking the Federal Role in Education
Greene, Jay; Loveless, Tom; MacLeod, W. Bentley; Nechyba, Thomas; Peterson, Paul; Rosenthal, Meredith; Whitehurst, Grover
Brookings Institution
Choice is most frequently realized within the public sector using the mechanisms of residence, magnet schools, and open enrollment systems, whereas the voucher-like systems applauded by choice advocates and feared by opponents are extremely rare. Further, the charter sector is neither large enough nor sufficiently prepared to go to scale to represent a threat to the traditional system of public schools. The policy recommendations detailed in this report are framed within the realities of large variation in the quality of public schools, widespread selection of schools by choice of place of residence, and choice being exercised predominantly within the public sector. Recommendations are provided for: supporting the expansion of choice; grounding the exercise of choice in valid and easily using information on the characteristics and performance of education programs; and supporting the enhancement of meaningful school choice. These recommendations do not represent advocacy for any particular type of education institution or program. Rather, the authors' assert that school choice should be a democratic process that benefits from the informed participation of parents. The recommendations are suitable to a range of schooling designs, from a school district in which there are no choices other than district-run public schools, to a system of charter schools, to a division of courses between traditional and virtual schools, to a voucher-based open market in which all providers are on an equal footing, and to many variations in between. The authors' position is that whatever the education delivery design the public has chosen to put in place in a particular school jurisdiction, parents should be afforded the maximum degree of choice, provided with valid information on the performance of the education programs that are available, and have their preferences for education programs reflected in the funding of those programs. (Contains 104 endnotes.) [This report was written with the assistance of Michelle Croft. Funding for the Rethinking the Federal Role in Education project was provided by the Walton Family Foundation and the Foundation for Educational Choice.]
Brookings Institution Press. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-797-6000; Fax: 202-797-6004; e-mail: webmaster@brookings.edu; Web site: http://www.brookings.edu
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Brookings Institution, Brown Center on Education Policy