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Incentivising excellence

School choice and education quality

By Gabriel H. Sahlgren
Cover of Incentivising excellence (Hardback) by Gabriel H. Sahlgren

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Contents Listing

Introduction

1. School choice, the nature of competition and quality: a theoretical framework

2. School choice and education quality: assessing the global evidence
2.1 Cross-national studies
2.2 Large-scale, universal national choice programmes
2.2.1 Sweden
2.2.2 Chile
2.2.3 The Netherlands
2.2.4 Denmark
2.3 Evidence from other countries, with a particular focus on the impact of small-scale reforms
2.3.1 Randomised studies
2.3.2 Non-randomised studies of choice and school effects
2.3.3 Non-randomised studies of competition effects
2.4 Conclusion

3. School choice and education quality: assessing the English evidence
3.1 Choice and school effects in England
3.2 Competition effects in England
3.3 What about grade inflation?
3.4 The current English model's shortcomings
3.5 Conclusion

4. Creating a functioning education market in England: an experimental approach
4.1 Introduce a voucher system - but implement it gradually for scientific purposes
4.1.1. Why not tax credits?
4.2 Make the education quasi-market less quasi
4.3 Generally equal public funding and treatment
4.4 Succeed or go bust: facilitate closure of failing schools
4.5 Differentiated funding
4.6 If top-up fees are allowed, discourage cream-skimming by other means
4.7 Allow policy experiments with selection practices
4.8 Introduce lotteries as the default tie-break device
4.9 Increase autonomy for all schools
4.10 Allow bona fide for-profit schools to set up shop
4.11 Further stimulate supply
4.12 Big is beautiful: why anti-trust laws are counterproductive
4.13 Reform the national exam system - but rely less on it
4.14 Improve the information and accountability system
4.15 Conclusion

Conclusion: incentivising excellence

Glossary
Appendix
References
Index
Introduction

1. School choice, the nature of competition and quality: a theoretical framework

2. School choice and education quality: assessing the global evidence
2.1 Cross-national studies
2.2 Large-scale, universal national choice programmes
2.2.1 Sweden
2.2.2 Chile
2.2.3 The Netherlands
2.2.4 Denmark
2.3 Evidence from other countries, with a particular focus on the impact of small ...

Summary

Incentivising excellence: school choice and education quality considers the conditions that need to prevail for school choice to fulfil its promise in relation to improving educational outcomes. It contends that without attention to system design and supporting reforms geared to fundamentally altering the incentive structure in education, there is little reason to suggest that choice will generate significant gains. The b... Read more below.

About the Author

Gabriel H. Sahlgren

Gabriel Heller Sahlgren is Director of Research at The Centre for Market Reform of Education and Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs. Read more on Gabriel H. Sahlgren

Jacket Text

Incentivising excellence: school choice and education quality considers the conditions that need to prevail for school choice to fulfil its promise in relation to improving educational outcomes. It contends that without attention to system design and supporting reforms geared to fundamentally altering the incentive structure in education, there is little reason to suggest that choice will generate significant gains. The book provides a comprehensive evaluation of the research regarding the effects of school choice – encompassing cross-national studies, in-depth discussions of national choice programmes in Sweden, Chile, the Netherlands, Denmark, and England, as well as smaller-scale programmes elsewhere – and exposes the flaws in design that have undermined their effectiveness. It goes on to consider lessons for policymakers and in particular the reforms necessary to bring about a functioning education market.
Incentivising excellence: school choice and education quality considers the conditions that need to prevail for school choice to fulfil its promise in relation to improving educational outcomes. It contends that without attention to system design and supporting reforms geared to fundamentally altering the incentive structure in education, there is little reason to suggest that choice will generate significant gains. The book provides a comprehensive evaluation of the research regarding the effects of school choice – encompassing cross-national studies, in-depth discussions of national choice programmes in Sweden, Chile, the Netherlands, Denmark, and England, as well as smaller-scale p ...

Reviews

" 'Incentivising excellence' marks a significant achievement in evidence-based policy analysis. Sahlgren takes a controversial topic and adds a strong dose of empirical evidence in the discussion. He rigorously analyses the existing literature and offers policymakers a pragmatic programme of options for improving school quality."
- Harry A. Patrinos, Lead Education Economist, The World Bank

"This book is a marvellous compendium of recent research on school choice worldwide, strengthened immeasurably by Sahlgren's careful attention to the competitiveness of the choice arrangements under investigation."
- Paul E. Peterson, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government, and Director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance, Harvard University
" 'Incentivising excellence' marks a significant achievement in evidence-based policy analysis. Sahlgren takes a controversial topic and adds a strong dose of empirical evidence in the discussion. He rigorously analyses the existing literature and offers policymakers a pragmatic programme of options for improving school quality."
- Harry A. Patrinos, Lead Education Economist, The World Bank

"This book is a marvellous compendium of recent research on school choice worldwide, strengthened imme ...

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