Getting Choice Right: Ensuring Equity and Efficiency in Education Policy / Edition 1

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School choice is a topic that sparks controversy on both the national and local levels. Some parents (mainly the affluent) have always had school choice, either through private school, or by buying a house in a preferred public school district. In recent decades, new forms of school choice have fundamentally altered the educational landscape. In many cases these new mechanisms-busing efforts, magnet schools, charter schools, open enrollment, and tuition vouchers-have provided less affluent families with their first taste of school choice.

Getting Choice Right assesses the basic mechanics of school choice, with a focus on the question of how, if the nation decides to expand choice, it can be implemented in a way to benefit the most students while minimizing any social costs. The first section of this book studies lessons for the design of school choice emanating from economic theory and practical experience. Essays describe what policies are needed to promote both a vigorous demand for and an adequate supply of educational choices. Addressing the valid concerns that opponents have raised, the second part examines the impact on students who are left behind in failing schools, the impact of choice on racial integration, the politics of school choice, and the implications for civic engagement of tomorrow's adult population.

By itself, school choice is not inherently good or bad, and the ability of school choice to improve both efficiency and equity in the nation's schools hinges on a number of key policy decisions. Factors such as the flow of information to parents, the inducement that the system provides for families to choose the ideal schools for their children, the regulations and funding that influence the supply of choice schools, and the incentives for schools to encourage racial and socioeconomic integration all play important roles. In Getting Choice Right, distinguished contributors analyze the potential benefits, the potential risks, and the policy options associated with a move toward a universal system of school choice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This reviewer recommends Getting Choice Right to policy makers, as well as education and social science researchers, because it is informative and instructive. Both supporters and opponents of school-choice schemes would benefit from the information and analysis provided in Getting Choice Right." —Shawgi Tell, Nazareth College of Rochester, Journal of Negro Education

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815753315
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Loveless is director of the Brown Center on Education Policy and senior fellow in the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of the annual Brown Center Reports on American Education. Julian Betts is a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of San Diego and a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where he has published several books on education policy.

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