Responsibility and school choice in education

Colburn, B. (2012) Responsibility and school choice in education. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 46(2), pp. 207-222. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9752.2012.00848.x)

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Abstract

Consider the following argument for school choice, based on an appeal to the virtues of the market: allowing parents some measure of choice over their particular children’s education ultimately serves the interests of all children, because creating a market mechanism in state education will produce improvements through the same pressures that lead to greater efficiency and quality when markets are deployed in more familiar contexts. The argument fails, because it is committed to a principle of equal concern, which (after analysis) implies that a market in education is acceptable only if it is right to hold children disadvantaged by their parents’ poor market choices substantively responsible for the fact. Since that claim is untenable, the market-based argument for school choice not only fails, but also turns out to rely on principles which in fact condemn the very policy it was supposed to support.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Colburn, Dr Ben
Authors: Colburn, B.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
J Political Science > JC Political theory
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Journal of Philosophy of Education
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
ISSN:0309-8249
ISSN (Online):1467-9752
Published Online:22 March 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Journal of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
First Published:First published in Journal of Philosophy of Education 46(2):207-222
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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