The School Choice Wars

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Overview

"What does the term school choice mean to you? Opponents of parental choice have muddied its definition, misleading parents and educators and drawing public debate away from the core issues. In a book geared for anyone who wants to better understand this hotly contested topic, John Merrifield clarifies the proposals in existence today, defining the key concepts related to choice. Arguing for a competitive education industry, he discusses policy and political strategy mistakes while suggesting corrections. This informative book covers government regulation issues, typical fallacies, diversity issues, private voucher initiatives, and experiments and empirical evidence about competition."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Times
...a sharp, punchy, action-oriented book. The author...appears to have read — and cited — every article and study on school choice ever written.
— Martin Morse Wooster
Joseph L. Bast
...my early favorite for Best School Reform Book of 2001. Even school reformers committed to an incrementalist approach will benefit from Merrifield's instructions on the proper use of rhetoric and the importance of communicating the goal of creating a true competitive education industry.
Myron Lieberman
The School Choice Wars" is essential reading in the discussions of education reform. It presents a vision of school choice as a competitive education industry, and it evaluates the school choice projects receiving the most attention in media and professional journals on the basis of this vision...If his analysis is widely read, it will transform the debate over school choice in the United States, to a debate over a competitive education industry.
Seymour Sarason
...brilliantly and clearly exposes superficiality...a seminal contribution to explaining why the current school choice wars cannot change our educational system.
Booknews
Economist Merrifield (U. of Texas, San Antonio) believes that much of what is said by both supporters and opponents of "parental choice" in K-12 education (e.g., the use of school vouchers) is wrong, misleading, or irrelevant, and that few of the current choice proposals are likely to change a flawed educational system. A strong supporter of parental choice, Merrifield describes key elements of the current debate, discusses what he sees as mistakes made by choice advocates in policy and political strategy, and suggests corrections that could be a catalyst for reform. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
School Administrator
The book, citing up-to-date research, would be a valuable resource to administrators regardless of where they stand on the issue of school choice.
Dr. Milton Friedman
Passionate and persuasive. Merrifield pulls no punches in his criticism of alternate approaches. This important book is bound to be controversial.
Seymour Sarason
...a seminal contribution to explaining why the current school choice wars cannot change our educational system.
John Pisciotta
In presenting the issues of a truly competitive education industry, he is as much a teacher as a researcher. No matter what camp of education reform you belong to, you can learn a great deal from The School Choice Wars.
Joseph L. Bast
...my early favorite for Best School Reform Book of 2001. Even school reformers committed to an incrementalist approach will benefit from Merrifield's instructions on the proper use of rhetoric and the importance of communicating the goal of creating a true competitive education industry.
Dr. Myron Lieberman
The School Choice Wars is essential reading in the discussions of education reform.... If his analysis is widely read, it will transform the debate over school choice in the United States, to a debate over a competitive education industry.
The Washington Times - Martin Morse Wooster
...a sharp, punchy, action-oriented book. The author...appears to have read — and cited — every article and study on school choice ever written.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810839564
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Series: Scarecrow Education Book Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

John Merrifield is a member of the Economics Faculty at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and a Senior Research Associate at the Education Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Pt. 1 Overview 1
Ch. 1 Introduction 3
Ch. 2 Elements of a Competitive Education Industry 9
Ch. 3 Experiments 20
Ch. 4 Real Evidence about Competition 44
Pt. 2 Issues in the Debate over Parental Choice 55
Ch. 5 Liberal/Conservative Role Reversal 57
Ch. 6 Fallacies about School Choice 67
Ch. 7 Government Regulation Issues 90
Ch. 8 The Neglect of Costs 97
Ch. 9 Fund Children or Institutions? 113
Ch. 10 Equity and Equality 124
Ch. 11 Diversity Issues 134
Pt. 3 Strategic and Tactical Issues 147
Ch. 12 Strategic and Tactical Fallacies 149
Ch. 13 Private Voucher Initiatives 160
Ch. 14 Teachers 169
Ch. 15 Outlook and Political Strategy 184
Bibliography 200
Index 214
About the Author 219
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