NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ986709
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 102
ISSN: ISSN-0195-6744
The Ironies of School Choice: Empowering Parents and Reconceptualizing Public Education
Olson Beal, Heather K.; Hendry, Petra Munro
American Journal of Education, v118 n4 p521-550 Aug 2012
School choice policy, especially as embedded in No Child Left Behind, assumes that empowering parents with choice will improve education by holding schools accountable and will reenergize democratic participation in public education. While parents are seen as critical change agents, little research documents how engaging in school choice affects parents' lived experiences as citizens engaged in the democratic process. This 1-year case study based on parent interviews and participant observation at a foreign language immersion magnet school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, suggests that choice works in complex, contradictory ways to both empower and disempower parents as participatory citizens in democratic change and that market-driven school choice situates parents as consumers and thus redefines education as a private rather than a public good. The implications for fulfilling the promises of parent empowerment through school choice are examined. (Contains 3 tables and 16 notes.)
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana