Public schools in marketized environments: Shifting incentives and unintended consequences of competition-based educational reforms

Christopher Lubienski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

By opening the system to competition, popular school choice reforms seek to remake public education into a more consumer-oriented endeavor. While the underlying theory holds that competitive pressures will induce change and improvement in educational processes, research indicates that organizations often respond instead by developing promotional strategies to succeed in the marketplace. This analysis reviews evidence of organizational behavior in education in reconsidering theories of school responses to competition. Due to unique quasi-public good aspects of schooling, it appears that marketlike incentives are corrupted when applied to education, "short-circuiting" the incentives that reformers had intended to drive school improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-486
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Journal of Education
Volume111
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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