NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1017714
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1475
Accountability Synopticism: How a Think Tank and the Media Developed a Quasimarket for School Choice in British Columbia
Simmonds, Michael; Webb, P. Taylor
International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, v12 n2 p21-41 2013
This paper describes how a locally developed school ranking system affected student enrolment patterns in British Columbia over time. In developing an annual school "report card" that was published in newspapers and online, the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute created a marketplace for school choice by devising an accountability scheme that highlighted and concealed visibility asymmetries between schools. Against the backdrop of a shifting political landscape, report cards helped focus the public's attention on school achievement scores that identified low-, mid-, and high-performing schools. A quasi-market for education emerged in the non-place of language and discourse when school ranking results became the basis by which parents made decisions about where to send their children to school. When student achievement data is used to identify British Columbia's "best" and "worst" performing secondary schools in this way, standardized assessment practices may be considered high-stakes.
Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society. ANZCIES Secretariat, Curtin University, Box U1987, Perth, WA Australia. Tel: +61-8-9266-7106; Fax: +61-8-9266-3222; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A