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ERIC Number: ED510611
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr-23
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Education Policy and "Friedmanomics": Free Market Ideology and Its Impact on School Reform
Fiala, Thomas J.; Owens, Deborah Duncan
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association (68th, Chicago, IL, Apr 23, 2010)
The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of neoliberal ideology, and in particular, the economic and social theories of Milton Friedman on education policy. The paper takes a critical theoretical approach in that ultimately the paper is an ideological critique of conservative thought and action that impacts twenty-first century education reform. Using primary and secondary documents, the paper takes an historical approach to begin understanding how Friedman's free market ideas helped bring together disparate conservative groups, and how these groups became united in influencing contemporary education reform. The paper thus considers the extent to which free market theory becomes the essence of contemporary education policy. The result of this critical and historical analysis gives needed additional insights into the complex ideological underpinnings of education policy in America. The conclusion of this paper brings into question the efficacy and appropriateness of free market theory to guide education policy and the use of vouchers and choice, and by extension testing and merit-based pay, as free market panaceas to solving the challenges schools face in the United States. Administrators, teachers, education policy makers, and those citizens concerned about education in the U.S. need to be cautious in adhering to the idea that the unfettered free market can or should drive education reform in the United States. (Contains 67 endnotes.)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education