Education and the Public Interest

School Reform, Public Finance, and Access to Higher Education

  • Edward P. St.John

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XXII
  2. Public Policy and College Access

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Edward P. St.John
      Pages 3-24
    3. Edward P. St.John
      Pages 25-54
  3. State Indicators

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 55-55
    2. Edward P. St.John, Glenda D. Musoba
      Pages 57-81
    3. Edward P. St.John, Choong-Geun Chung, Glenda D. Musoba, Ada B. Simmons
      Pages 83-113
    4. Edward P. St.John, Anna S. Chung, Glenda D. Musoba, Choong-Geun Chung
      Pages 115-131
  4. Student Outcomes: Reanalyses of the NELS

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-133
    2. Edward P. St.John, Anna S. Chung
      Pages 135-162
    3. Edward P. St.John, Anna S. Chung
      Pages 163-191
    4. Edward P. St.John, Anna S. Chung
      Pages 193-213
  5. The Public Interest

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 215-215
    2. Edward P. St.John
      Pages 217-233
    3. Edward P. St.John
      Pages 235-254
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 255-273

About this book


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 Rawls’s 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 global political 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


Evaluation John Rawls education education reform higher education quality university

Authors and affiliations

  • Edward P. St.John
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MichiganUSA

Bibliographic information