Global Education Reform : How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes book cover
1st Edition

Global Education Reform
How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes

ISBN 9781138930568
Published March 2, 2016 by Routledge
238 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

With contributions from Linda Darling-Hammond, Michael Fullan, Pasi Sahlberg, and Martin Carnoy, Global Education Reform is an eye-opening analysis of national educational reforms and the types of high-achieving systems needed to serve all students equitably. The collection documents the ideologically and educationally distinctive approaches countries around the world have taken to structuring their education systems. Focusing on three pairs of case studies written by internationally acclaimed experts, the book provides a powerful analysis of the different ends of an ideological spectrum----from strong state investments in public education to market-based approaches.

An introductory chapter offers an overview of the theories guiding both neoliberal reforms such as those implemented in Chile, Sweden and the United States with efforts to build strong and equitable public education systems as exemplified by Cuba, Finland and Canada. The pairs of case studies that follow examine the historical evolution of education within an individual country and compare and contrast national educational outcomes. A concluding chapter dissects the educational outcomes of the differing economic and governance approaches, as well as the policy implications.

Table of Contents


1. Privatization or Public Investment? A Global Question

2. Chile: A Long-Term Neoliberal Experiment and Its Impact on the Quality and Equity of Education

3. Four Keys to Cuba’s Provision of High Quality Public Education

4. From Citizens Into Consumers: The Transformation of Democratic Ideals Into School Markets in Sweden

5. The Finnish Paradox: Equitable Public Education within a Competitive Market Economy

6. The Critical Choice in American Education: Privatization or Public Investment

7. Developing High-Quality Public Education in Canada: The Case of Ontario

8. Privatization and Public Investment: Is the Invisible Hand a Magic Wand?


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Frank Adamson is a policy and research analyst at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education.

Björn Åstrand is a senior lecturer at Umeå University, Sweden, where he previously served as the dean for the School of Education.

Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University , the author of over 300 publications, and a former president of the American Educational Research Association.


"This book is both brilliantly conceived and timely. Through paired comparisons of education systems engaging with global education reforms, leading education scholars in this book investigate how a privatization versus public investment model tends to generate very different outcomes for their citizens, and ultimately for their societies. It is comparative education scholarship at its best in that its findings should be on every policy maker’s agenda."

-- Susan L. Robertson, Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, UK

"Does educational choice and privatization create better schools or just segregation and inequality? The results in these studies may surprise you, but there is a verdict and an alternative."

-- Henry M. Levin, William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA

" The lessons in each chapter equip students, parents, policymakers and other education stakeholders with a clear understanding of how privatization and profit drive "education reform" instead of teaching and learning. The book clearly demonstrates that we should heed the warnings from around the world that market-based reforms further disadvantage our most vulnerable students."

--Julian Vasquez Heilig, Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, California State University Sacramento, USA

"Global Education Reform is a book with numerous strengths that should be studied carefully by policy makers and all students of educational change."

-- Dennis Shirley, Boston College, USA