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Does the Supreme Court Ruling on Vouchers in Cleveland Really Matter for Education Reform?


by Clive Belfield & Henry M. Levin ó July 01, 2002

In this commentary we review the Supreme Court opinion of June 2002 in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris. In the first section, we offer an interpretation of the ruling in terms of four evaluative criteria: freedom of choice, productive efficiency, equity, and social cohesion. Unsurprisingly, the opinion strongly emphasized parental freedom of choice over the other criteria. In the second section, we consider whether the Supreme Court ruling represents a major victory for voucher advocates and whether it will have a substantial impact on improving America's schools. Our discussion takes a rather skeptical position, and we offer eight justifications for such a view.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: July 01, 2002
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10952, Date Accessed: 5/27/2017 7:46:14 AM

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About the Author
  • Clive Belfield

    E-mail Author

  • Henry Levin
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    HENRY M. LEVIN is the William Heard Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education and Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (NCSPE) at Teachers College, Columbia University. He specializes in the economics of education, educational reforms for students in at-risk situations, and the analysis of educational privatization.
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