Presentation on theme: "IS EDUCATION A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE GOOD? DESIGN OF EDUCATIONAL POLICY Henry M. Levin Columbia University Fundación Ramón Areces Fundación Europea Sociedad."— Presentation transcript:
IS EDUCATION A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE GOOD? DESIGN OF EDUCATIONAL POLICY Henry M. Levin Columbia University Fundación Ramón Areces Fundación Europea Sociedad y Educación 25 March 2014. Madrid.
Tension in Educational Policy Education as a Public Good. Education as a Private Good. Creation of Tension. Struggle for Balance. Mechanisms and Goals.
Education as a Public Good Public- promotes civic participation, a historical and cultural heritage, a common set of economic and political values and knowledge, and a common language. Societies cannot function without these. Benefits all society. Original purpose of compulsory education.
Consequences of Public Good Argument Collective decisions on funding and purpose. Recognition of public interest in education Government must implement decisions by setting out: – Financing – Compulsory attendance. – Curriculum. – Personnel qualifications. – Standards. – Assessment (testing?).
Education as a Private Good Private-promotes individual development, understanding, and productivity that contribute to adult well being benefiting the educated individual and family.
Consequences of Private Goods Argument Families choose type of education. Schools will reflect differences in philosophy, religion, values, culture, preferences. Private financing. Participation by choice. Assessment of quality determined by clientele.
Both Public and Private Goals Schools in democratic societies have both public and private goals. Not always compatible. Tensions are inevitable. School systems are always a compromise between public and private goals. Achieving balance among four objectives.
Four Objectives Freedom of Choice Social Cohesion Equity Resource Efficiency
Freedom of Choice A time-honored right of parents is the ability to impart to their children their educational goals, values, religious beliefs, and political perspectives.
Social Cohesion A major public purpose of schooling is to prepare the young for democratic and civic participation. Students from many different backgrounds must understand and support a common set of social, political, and economic arrangements that are foundational to a stable and democratic society.
Equity A universal goal of schooling in the is to provide fairness in access to educational opportunities, resources, and outcomes by gender, social class, race, language origins, and geographical location of students.
Resource Efficiency With a given amount of resources devoted to education, it is desirable to find the arrangements that will maximize school effectiveness and results.
More Choice Promotion of more choice has become prominent as a solution to improving education. But choice takes account only of the private goals and preferences. Choice does not address the public goals.
Policy Tools for Improvement Finance, Regulation, and Support Services (e.g. information accountability, technical assistance) are the main policy tools to address all four goals. But, policies to improve performance on some goals may reduce performance on others.
Finance For Example: Allowing parental fees to supplement public expenditure on education increases freedom of choice by providing a greater variety of schools for those who can afford them. But parental fees favor higher income families, reducing equity and social cohesion and segregating students by income.
Regulations A common curriculum and national testing may be required to assure social cohesion and improve resource efficiency, but it will also reduce freedom of choice.
Good News Some policies can improve efficiency, equity, and social cohesion. Such educational Investments are highly profitable for society. Our benefit-cost studies on expanding pre- primary education, raising educational quality, and reducing dropouts has shown large benefits relative to costs for the taxpayer and society.
Clarifying Priorities Search for alternative policies. Establish discourse on public priorities and translating into policies. Can be done regionally and locally. Broad dialogue needed. Not just about test scores. About broader knowledge and values and civic behavior of students and society.