School Choice: A Brief Overview
  • Jurgen Herbst


School choice has become an often heard phrase in public debates and private conversations. As a concept that refers to the desire of parents to send their children to schools they and not outside educational or governmental authorities have selected, it is easily understood. In European countries and the United States as well as in Australia and New Zealand, citizens dissatisfied for various reasons with the performance of their public schools, have begun to ask for the right and the opportunity to send their children to public or private schools of their choice1


Public School Private School Religious Instruction School Choice Supreme Court Decision 
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  1. 1.
    See as examples for Germany, Frank-Rüdiger Jach, Schulvielfalt als Verfassungsgebot (Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 1991);Google Scholar
  2. for the United Kingdom, G. Walford, ed., School Choice and the Quasi Market (Wallingford: Triangle Books, 1996);Google Scholar
  3. for the United States, Peter W. Cookson, School Choice: The Struggle for the Soul of American Education (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994);Google Scholar
  4. and for Australia and New Zealand, Geoff Whitty, Sally Power, and David Halpin, Devolution and Choice in Education: The School, the State and the Market (Buckingham, England: Open University Press, 1998). See also the comparative OECD Report with examples from Australia, England, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States, Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, School: A Matter of Choice (Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1994).Google Scholar
  5. 2.
    John E. Chubb and Terry M. Moe, Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1990), p. 219.Google Scholar
  6. 3.
    On this see Diane Ravitch, The Troubled Crusade: American Education 1945–1980 (New York: Basic Books, 1983), pp. 308–311.Google Scholar
  7. 5.
    Three noteworthy exceptions are William W. Cutler, III, Parents and Schools: The 150—year Struggle for Control in American Education (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000);Google Scholar
  8. Otto E Kraushaar, Private Schools: From the Puritans to the Present (Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, 1976);Google Scholar
  9. and Nancy Beadie and Kim Tolley, eds., Chartered Schools: Two Hundred Years of Independent Academies in the United States, 1727–1925 (New York: RoutledgeFalmer, 2002).Google Scholar
  10. 6.
    See Bernard Bailyn, Education in the Forming of American Society (New York: Vintage, 1960);Google Scholar
  11. and Lawrence Cremin, The Wonderful World of Ellwood Patterson Cubberley (New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 1965).Google Scholar
  12. 7.
    One outstanding exception is Wayne E. Fuller, The Old Country School (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  13. 8.
    See Hermann Röhrs and Volker Lenhart, Progressive Education Across the Continents (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1995).Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    Frank-Rüdiger Jach, Schulverfassung und Bürgergesellschaft in Europa (Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 1999), p. 253.Google Scholar
  15. 12.
    Hellmut Becker, “Die verwaltete Schule (1954),” in Quantität und Qualität: Grundfragen der Bildungspolitik (Freiburg im Breisgau: Verlag Rombach, 1962), p. 148.Google Scholar
  16. 14.
    Henry Geitz, Jürgen Heideking, and Jurgen Herbst, eds., German Influences on Education in the United States to 1917 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jurgen Herbst 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jurgen Herbst
    • 1
  1. 1.DurangoUSA

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