International Perspectives on School Choice

Authored by: Helen F. Ladd , Edward B. Fiske

Handbook of Research on School Choice

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815381464
eBook ISBN: 9781351210447
Adobe ISBN:


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An international perspective on school choice enables one to see how various choice-related issues arise and play out in other countries. This chapter examines how they provide choice options in different forms and for different reasons. Some countries have long offered schools for specific groups of residents in recognition of the pluralism of their populations and the constitutionally protected rights of those groups. Other countries, starting most dramatically with Chile in 1981, have expanded school choice to individuals based on the neoliberal view that competition for students will improve student outcomes and make the system more efficient. A central component of most choice programs is managerial flexibility at the school level, but countries differ in the extent to which they rely on publicly or privately managed schools. The chapter draws attention to three types of policy decisions implicit in any choice scheme. First are decisions about school funding, including school fees and extra resources for schools serving expensive-to-educate students. Second is methods for holding differentiated schools accountable for the public interest. The third is decisions about school admissions policies, with attention to their effects on segregation by socioeconomic status.

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