Retrospect and Outlook

  • Jurgen Herbst


School choice, as we have seen, did not arise as an issue until the appearance of the modern national state. Then the question whether or not to send a child to public school became both a question for parents in their individual households and a debated public issue. It confronted everyone, parent and childless taxpayer alike, with the question to what extent a secular community—be it a town, a state, or a nation—could compel its citizens to hand over to them the education of their children. Could the state as parens patrice override the rights of parents as the determinators of their children’s education and educate children in loco parentis? Was this a legal question, one to be decided in the last analysis by the crown as sovereign or by the people or their representatives in legislative assemblies and judicial bodies, or was it a moral issue to be settled by appeal to Scripture or natural law? Was it, finally, a matter to be turned over for decision to pedagogical expertise and professional educational wisdom? What kind of matter was this public education? One to be left to the discretion of individual parents or one to be decided by the community as a whole? Whose interest was it to serve, the individual’s, the local community’s, or society’s in general? And if, as the name suggests, it was a matter for public disposition, how far could the public interfere in what many considered to be a most intimate sphere of private family life?


Civil Society Public School Private School Charter School Religious Instruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    On this see Everett Webber, Escape to Utopia: The Communal Movement in America (New York: Hastings House, 1959)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See, for example, Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society (New York: Harper and Row, 1970).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Raymond E. Callahan, Education and the Cult of Efficiency (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,1962)Google Scholar
  4. and David B. Tyack, The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974).Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Andy Green, Education and State Formation: The Rise of Education Systems in England, France and the USA (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990), pp. 76–81, 308–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 7.
    Jürgen Oelkers, Reformpädagogik: Eine kritische Dogmengeschichte (Weinheim and München: Juventa Verlag, 1989), pp. 13 and 27.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Peter W. Cookson, Jr., School Choice: The Struggle for the Soul of American Education (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), pp. 127–128.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    John Chubb and Terry Moe, Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1990), pp. 218–219.Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    John E. Coons and Stephen D. Sugarman, Education by Choice: The Case for Family Control (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), p. 153.Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    See on this Joseph Kahne, Reframing Educational Policy: Democracy, Community, and the Individual (New York: Teachers College Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    See Nancy Beadie and Kim Tolley, eds., Chartered Schools: Two Hundred Years of Independent Academies in the United States, 1727–1925 (New York and London: RoutledgeFalmer, 2002).Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    See Winfried Schlaffke and Reinhold Weiß, eds., Private Bildung—Herausforderung für das öffentliche Bildungsmonopol (Köln: Deutscher Institutsverlag, 1996), pp. 87–88.Google Scholar
  13. 18.
    Dale D. and Bonnie Johnson, High Stakes: Children, Testing and Failure in American Schools (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002), p. 203.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jurgen Herbst 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jurgen Herbst
    • 1
  1. 1.DurangoUSA

Personalised recommendations