Home » Nonfiction » Carl L. Bankston III » Controls and Choices

August 07 , 2009

Controls and Choices

The Educational Marketplace and the Failure of School Desegregation


Many activists and writers have ascribed continuing racial segregation in American schools to a failure of will. In this view, forced transfers of students and other aggressive judicially mandated policies would lead to greater equality in education if only legislators and judges had the will to continue trying to make school districts conform to plans for redesigning schools and even American society.

Controls and Choices: The Educational Marketplace and the Failure of School Desegregation provides a detailed examination of the nature of the educational marketplace, supported by historical evidence, to argue that school desegregation failed because it involved monopolistic efforts at redistributing opportunities. These efforts were fundamentally at odds with the self-interest of the families who had the greatest ability to make choices in the educational marketplace. The authors use the concept of the educational marketplace to explain how market-based attempts at school reform, notably vouchers and charter schools, have grown out of the failure of desegregation and remain hampered by lack of recognition of how the schools really function as markets. Some additional key features of this book include:

  • Gives a clear understanding of how schools function as markets
  • Illustrates the argument with histories of specific school districts
  • Links the history of school desegregation to school vouchers and charter schools
  • Includes easy to read and interpret graphs and figures
  • Includes most up-to-date school population and census information

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