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Education markets and school choice

Abstract : It is primarily the emergence of new state policies promoting market mechanisms in the field of education that has encouraged research on education markets (Maroy, 2006). In the 1980s, conservative American and British governments, drawing on theories of public choice (Chubb & Moe, 1998), encouraged reforms aimed at reducing the alleged inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the bureaucratic management of schools by increasing their autonomy as well as parental choice (Ball, 1993; Bosetti, 2005; Glennerster, 1991; Uchitelle, 1993). Similar reforms have also been implemented in various European countries for over 20 years (Mons, 2007), often in relation with a decennia-long co-existence of public and state-granted schools. These private schools are most often Catholic or protestant schools operating within a national educational system receiving state grants. The countries of the European Union can be divided into three groups according to the relationship private education has with the public authorities (Eurydice, 20001). In Greece and the UK, private schools receive no public funding. However, this absence of funding does not prevent the state from exercising control over private education institutions. In the UK, most denominational and other schools owned by churches or trustees are considered to form part of the public sector education. In the second group of countries (France, Italy, and Portugal), different types of contracts exist which create a link between private schools and public authorities. Depending on the type of contract, the school receives grants of a more or less significant amount and is freer to a greater or lesser extent with regard to conditions (of teaching, teacher recruitment, etc.) imposed by public authorities. Finally, within the last group, which comprises the majority of countries, grant-aided private schools appear to have much in common with public sector schools. In Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Austria, Finland, and Sweden, private education is grant aided, either partially or fully, but operates under more or less the same conditions as public sector education. In The Netherlands, financial equality between public and grant-aided private institutions is a constitutional right. The size of these public and non-public school sectors varies strongly between these European societies for specific historic reasons, and non-public schools disappeared in some of these societies as a consequence of the communist regime. [Article's first paragraph]
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Jaap Dronkers, Georges Felouzis, Agnès van Zanten. Education markets and school choice. Educational Research and Evaluation, 2010, 16 (2), pp.99 - 105. ⟨hal-01521717v2⟩

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