TORONTO, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - The recent controversy over funding faith-based
schools in the Ontario election campaign obscured a wider, more important
educational issue: the benefits of greater school choice. In a Backgrounder
released today by the C.D. Howe Institute, "Breaking Down Monopolies:
Expanding Choice and Competition in Education," Senior Policy Analyst Yvan
Guillemette captures the themes debated by educational experts at a recent
seminar at the Institute. He writes that economic theory, and evidence from
Canadian and international experience, offers support for breaking down
educational monopolies and for greater use of market forces, choice, and
competition in education.
Empirical studies of school-choice policies in many countries suggest
that choice has a positive, modest effect on student achievement. Rather than
favoring the rich, policies can be implemented in ways that preserve social
equity and equality of opportunity through careful redistribution of
purchasing power with vouchers or tax credits. Consistently measuring
performance and distributing information to parents help, too - and therein
lies a role for government.
Many ways of increasing choice in schooling are available, says
Guillemette, and the experiences of Alberta, BC and other jurisdictions
worldwide should be studied attentively by other provinces, including Ontario.
Greater choice need not mean taking the "public" out of "public education,"
rather it means redefining public education as "choice for all" instead of
"the same for all."
The study is available at:
For further information:
For further information: Yvan Guillemette, Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe
Institute, (416) 865-1904, firstname.lastname@example.org