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Learning as We Go: Why School Choice is Worth the Wait (Hoover Institution Press Publication)

Hill, Paul T.

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ISBN 10: 081791014X / ISBN 13: 9780817910143
Published by Hoover Institution Press, 2010
Used Condition: Very Good
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Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP90442101

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Learning as We Go: Why School Choice is ...

Publisher: Hoover Institution Press

Publication Date: 2010

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title


Paul T. Hill examines the real-world factors that can complicate, delay, and in some instances interfere with the positive cause-and-effect relationships identified by the theories behind school choice. He explains why schools of choice haven't yet achieved a broader appeal and suggests more realistic expectations about timing and a more complete understanding of what must be done to make choice work.

From the Inside Flap:

Why haven’t schools of choice yet achieved a broader appeal? Choice opens up what our public education system now holds tight, allowing innovations in curriculum and other aspects of instruction that are not now possible. Thus, choice is a necessary if not sufficient condition for needed innovations in curriculum, methods, use of time, and human resources. Publicly funded school choice programs—charter schools in forty-three states and vouchers in a few localities—have for the most part been qualified successes; along with many mixed results, some have in fact been more dramatic successes. Yet the rhetoric of choice supporters promised much more effective schools and an era of innovation that has not come to pass. Is there something wrong with the theories behind the choice movement? Paul T. Hill answers this question with an emphatic no. In Learning as We Go: Why School Choice Is Worth the Wait, he examines why continuous improvement that school choice was supposed to introduce to public education has been so slow to occur.

Hill details four key factors to explain the delay. The first and most important is political opposition. The second is composed of policies and regulations—themselves the results of politics that advantage incumbent administrators, educators, and interest groups—that either create big obstacles to the success of choice or go only halfway toward creating the conditions necessary for its full operation. Thirdis an entrenched system built on procedure, compliance, employee protection, and secrecy about resource use and productivity. A fourthsource of delays is a set of time lags intrinsic to the operation of a system of choice.

The author then suggests changes in public policy along with philanthropic investment that could overcome barriers and increase the rate of progress toward full operation of what he calls the “virtuous cycle” stimulated by school choice. To reach its potential in education, he concludes, choice will need steady, persistent support based on understanding what it will take, not doctrinaire insistence that analysis and strategic investment are counterproductive because the market will provide.

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