Making school choice work

Here is a new policy paper by Caroline Hoxby, written for a New Zealand context.  It is an admirable brief summary of the U.S. evidence on school choice, almost like a response to Ezra Klein.  Here is a summary.  Her conclusions are that successful school choice requires:

  • Supply flexibility, which means that schools should have the ability to open where there is demand for them, expand with increased demand and contract with reduced demand
  • Money should follow students, which means that funding policies must be designed so that schools that are in demand have the funds to expand and those that are not in demand lose funds and must contract; and
  • Independent management of schools, which means that schools must be free to innovate in a range of areas, including pedagogy, teacher pay, budget allocation, and the way the school is organised.

Hoxby stresses that these conditions are rarely found together.  By the way, the paper does not cover either Chilean or Colombian experience with vouchers.


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