Concepts and Issues in School Choice

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This book provides a historical development of the concept of school choice through a presentation and discussion of articles written by various scholars in the last twenty years. It examines the conceptual differences in three forms of school choice -- vouchers, magnet plans, public schools of choice -- considering the historical background; philosophical assumptions; and the legal, sociological, financial and political implications of each form. Also includes an overview of present systems and their success, and a survey of over 4000 individuals regarding their perceptions toward choice. A feature which distinguishes this from any other book of its kind is an analysis of the newest form of restructuring -- site-based management. As site-based management is increasingly implemented as a means of decentralizing school control and empowering educational professionals, schools of choice will be considered as a means of balancing that power with a comparable form of enfranchisement for parents. The book presents a variety of points of view on each area, eliciting the conceptual concerns that are common.


"This book is the most complete and comprehensive overview of the entire field of educational vouchers and educational choice that has yet appeared. Its list of distinguished contributors includes representatives of every possible point of view on this difficult, vexing but supremely important topic. Indeed, the various bibliographies are in and of themselves worth the price of admission. Tannenbaum is to be congratulated on the breadth and scope of the ideas she includes and the comments she herself makes upon those ideas." -- Evans Clinchy, Senior Field Associate, Institute for Responsive Education