ERIC Number: EJ949188
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 6
Response to "Reply to O'Neill: The Privatisation of Public Schooling in New Zealand"
Journal of Education Policy, v26 n5 p725-728 2011
This article presents the author's response to Strathdee's "Reply to O'Neill: The privatisation of public schooling in New Zealand." Strathdee has alerted the editors to a basic arithmetic error in the author's paper (O'Neill 2011, 24). He also makes substantive criticisms. Strathdee's criticisms focus on the two cases that are used to support the author's argument that privatisation of public schooling is increasing. He contends that: (1) the use of private consultants in the education policy process is not a recent phenomenon; and (2) the summary data the author reports have been misinterpreted while equally plausible alternative explanations of the summary have not been considered. More generally, Strathdee suggests that the paper adopts a simplistic binary distinction between public (good) and private (bad). The author points out that Strathdee's use of the term "private consultant" is problematic. While it is correct that the appointment of natural persons from the private sector to conduct work on behalf of the state "has been standard practice for over 20 years at least," this does not make them "consultants". With regard to the latter, the author contends that Strathdee's reading is incorrect. A basic premise of the paper is that contemporary education policy discourses are complex, often involving fluid relational networks of both private and public interests configured in increasingly novel ways. A key aim of the paper, then, is to understand these discursive processes as they are unfolding in one national context: specifically, how public policy enables private sector involvement. To do so, the author's paper draws on two concrete procurement examples, one of policy advice provision, the other of the awarding of competitive contracts for schooling support services. The paper does not attempt value judgments about the goodness or otherwise of privatisation although the author does criticise what he claims is a lack of openness, transparency and truthfulness in New Zealand public schooling policy discourse.
Descriptors: Private Sector, Consultants, Foreign Countries, Public Policy, Educational Policy, Privatization, Criticism, Competition, Discourse Analysis, Contracts
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand