23 SES 12 C, Comparing and Contrasting School Choice Policies: Contrasting Extreme Cases
Since the 1980s school choice has been a core element in the global restructuring of public education. Chile was one of the first to carry out widely the new neo-liberal educational policies while Finland was a late-comer leaning long to its Nordic/Scandinavian heritage of strong public standardized educational policies. The objective of this paper is to examine the affiliation between parental educational strategies, social segregation and school-choice policies. The disparate context may shed more light on the educational strategies of families, the mechanisms they employ, and the nature of effects of school choice policies. This paper argues that there are a range of principles of commonality at play in the way in which effects/otucomes of school choice policy take place, but different ways in which they are nationally configurated and tied to the social and cultural national histories. The paper draws data from Finnish families in three major cities and Chilean families in Santiago. The research has been carried out in both countries with large scale surveys and interviews. In terms of findings, this paper shows how the social, cultural, ethnical features of different societies shapes the way in which market mechanisms operate in practice.
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