Private Interests and the Common Good: Conflicting Priorities in a School Choice World

  • Casey D. CobbEmail author
  • Jason Irizarry
Living reference work entry


This chapter examines the global trend of school choice through privatization and quasi-privatization and considers the implications for disadvantaged populations. Examination of school choice policies in Puerto Rico (charter schools), Chile (school vouchers), and the United Kingdom (academies) helps illustrate how market-based reforms attempt to address inequities in educational opportunity, access, and performance. The pursuit of unregulated school choice through self-governed schools in the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico appears to exacerbate disparities, prioritize schooling as a private good at the expense of the public good, and promote inefficient and inequitable dual systems of education. Under Chile’s differentiated voucher program, attempts were made to level the playing field for disadvantaged families; however, outcomes suggest a system of privilege persists. School choice policies that promote the value of individualism are ill equipped to achieve socially just ends for all students, particularly those from marginalized groups. A renewal of the democratic principles of the collective good is called for, where common interests guide public policy and public policy serves common interests.


Education policy School choice Vouchers Charter schools Education reform Privatization Public good Public education Social justice Social stratification Government schools Student inequities Parent choice Quasi-privatization Privilege Market-based reform Competition Neoliberal reform Neoliberalism Democracy United States Puerto Rico Chile United Kingdom 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neag School of EducationUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • John M. Heffron
    • 1
  1. 1.The Graduate SchoolSoka University of AmericaAliso ViejoUSA

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