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ERIC Number: EJ777237
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 24
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1245
Marketing Schools: Consumer Goods and Competitive Incentives for Consumer Information
Lubienski, Christopher
Education and Urban Society, v40 n1 p118-141 Nov 2007
Effective school-choice plans depend on the quality of information available to families. Examining the promotional materials provided by different schools in a highly competitive and diverse urban area tells us not only about the quality of that information but also how schools respond to competitive incentives. This analysis outlines an economic theory of goods as a framework for understanding information, focusing on the essential "search," "experience," and "credence" qualities of promotional materials. The information made available to families through commercial-style materials challenges the notion of parents making reasoned choices based on institutional effectiveness. Instead, more emotional themes and images dominate school marketing strategies, with implications for ethnic and socioeconomic sorting within diverse but competitive climates. Promotional strategies suggest that competition is creating an environment in which, rather than responding to incentives intended to improve education for more disadvantaged students, schools are instead attracting better performing students through their marketing campaigns. Appended is: (1) Coding Items. (Contains 6 tables and 3 notes.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.
Authoring Institution: N/A