Economic globalization has been accompanied by implementation of education reforms linked to accountability and public finance schemes that emphasize student choice in schools and student loans in higher education. In the U.S. these reforms are rationalized based on intermediate variables, like the number of math credits completed in high school and net prices. However, the reforms rationalized based on this research are seldom evaluated in relation to outcomes (i.e., measures of student achievement and equal opportunity to attain an education). In Education and the Public Interest the editor re-examines the political rationales for these reforms. John Rawlss theory of justice is reconstructed to develop a framework for assessing the effects of public policy on these outcomes. This volume undertakes a comparative study of the states in the U.S. to examine how education reforms influence student achievement, high school graduation, and college access; and finance schemes influence college access. Policies implemented by states in the 1990s were associated with improved achievement, as measured by test scores for high school students. These policies also correlate with increased high school drop out rates and the widening gap in college enrolment rates across income groups. This volume considers how privatization and accountability policies can be reconstructed to reduce inequality while continuing to improve student achievement and college enrolment. 'I enjoyed reading the book and benefited from it, and I feel confident others will as well. I am particularly taken by its sweep and by the skill and persuasiveness with which the author ties together the broad trends and themes of privatization, globalization, school reform, preparation, equity, equality and college access.' Prof. James C. Hearn, Vanderbilt University, USA '(What I)...especially like about this book is the framing of the importance of the topic in terms of the globalpolitical and economic changes and the notion of access to quality education as a basic right.' Prof. Laura W. Perna, College of Education, University of Maryland, USA

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