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The New Educational Privatization: Educational Contracting and High Stakes Accountability


by Patricia Ellen Burch — 2006

The institutional landscape of K-12 educational contracting is fundamentally changing. Based on industry and district data, this study identifies three distinct shifts in the content and structure of interactions between suppliers of instructional goods and local school systems. These shifts include i) elevation of test-related services and products, ii) increasing emphases on technology-based solutions. and iii) an expanding role for the state in spurring market activity. Drawing on a case study of district practice, the study provides evidence of how broader changes are influencing local contracting activities, and the dilemmas and responses generated by these pressures. The study suggests the need for new conceptual approaches to studying educational privatization that draw on the institutional analysis of organizations and also identifies critical questions for future research.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 12, 2006, p. 2582-2610
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12259, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 7:02:54 AM

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About the Author
  • Patricia Burch
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
    E-mail Author
    PATRICIA ELLEN BURCH is an assistant professor in the department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her research focuses on the design and implementation of educational reforms in the context of changing governance systems and the impact of these reforms on student and teacher learning.
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