The promise of a choice-based system, however, is largely unfulfilled. Despite all the rhetoric, the successes of existing choice systems are questionable, and the theories and assumptions that provide intellectual support for choice have never been systematically tested. This book provides that test.
Professors Smith and Meier show that a choice-based system will not improve American education. Choice theorists have exaggerated the decline in educational performance and misidentified its causes. Their proposed market cure is modeled on unfounded assumptions. Persuasive though it may sound, the school choice argument is demonstrably false and misleading. And what is worse, it is likely to promote racial, religious, and socio-economic segregation.
The concept of pay for performance for public school teachers is growing in popularity and use, and it has resurged to once again occupy a central role in education policy. "Performance Incentives: Their Growing Impact on American K-12 Education" offers the most up-to-date and complete analysis of this promising --yet still controversial --policy innovation.
"Performance Incentives" brings together an interdisciplinary team of experts, providing an unprecedented discussion and analysis of the pay-for-performance debate by
- Identifying the potential strengths and weaknesses of tying pay to student outcomes;
- Comparing different strategies for measuring teacher accomplishments;
- Addressing key conceptual and implemen - tation issues;
- Describing what teachers themselves think of merit pay;
- Examining recent examples in Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas;
- Studying the overall impact on student achievement.
This volume brings together leading thinkers from a variety of disciplines to probe the relation between a healthy democracy and education. Their original and provocative discussions cut across a range of important topics: the cultivation of democratic values, the formation of social capital in schools and communities, political conflict in a pluralist society, the place of religion in public life, the enduring problems of racial inequality. Gathering together the most current research and thinking on education and civil society, this is a book that deserves the attention of everyone who cares about the quality and future of American democracy./DIV
Advocates of school vouchers and other choice proposals couch their arguments in the fashionable language of economic theory. Choice initiatives at all levels of government have succeeded, it is claimed, because they shift responsibility for education reform from government to market forces. This timely book disputes the appropriateness of the market metaphor as a guide to education policy.