The Failed Quest for Equal Educational Opportunity: Regulating Education the Way We Regulate Business

45 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2019

See all articles by Stephen D. Sugarman

Stephen D. Sugarman

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Date Written: November 19, 2019

Abstract

This article first describes a wide range of shortcomings in the U.S. elementary and secondary educational system in the 1960s. At a time when in many respects our K-12 education scheme was generally thought to be a great success, many groups of pupils were being badly treated.

The next five sections present strategies that reformers have deployed in efforts to achieve genuine educational opportunity for all students. I show how these efforts map onto changing approaches to economic regulation in general.

On the ground – in our schools, as in our business world – these changes have not been anywhere nearly as successful as advocates hoped.

The article concludes with observations about how educational reform approaches over time have reflected competing visions of who should be in charge of assuring that all American school children are well educated. In the face of a fractured view of “who should decide” it is difficult to hold anyone accountable for regulatory failure.

Keywords: adversarial legalism, command and control, school choice, outcome-based regulation, managerial regulation

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Sugarman, Stephen D., The Failed Quest for Equal Educational Opportunity: Regulating Education the Way We Regulate Business (November 19, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3497127 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3497127

Stephen D. Sugarman (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
510-642-0130 (Phone)
510-643-2672 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/faculty/sugarmans

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