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ERIC Number: EJ830438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1477-8785
All Together Now? Some Egalitarian Concerns about Deliberation and Education Policy-Making
Newman, Anne
Theory and Research in Education, v7 n1 p65-87 2009
Deliberative theory has served two purposes in recent studies of education policy-making at the community level in the US: as a lens through which to examine existing practices, and as an ideal toward which to strive. These studies, though, overlook a prior and important theoretical question: "should" deliberative theory be applied to education policy-making? In this article, I explore this question from an egalitarian perspective. I criticize the prevailing assumption that deliberative decision-making is an egalitarian way to make education policy, by underscoring how it fails in this instance on its own terms. I argue that deliberating about education policy is especially problematic compared to deliberations about other social goods, owing to the unique relationship between education and political equality in public fora. I also highlight two features of American education--de facto segregation, and the availability of exit options--that further challenge the appropriateness of using deliberative processes for education policy-making. Given the current state of educational politics, I conclude by pointing to the benefits of school finance litigation and its rights-based approach, which establishes educational entitlements that apply across communities. (Contains 14 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A