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Breaking the Mold: Charter Schools, Contract Schools, and Voucher Plans


by Frederick M. Hess — 2003

Choice-based and contractual reforms offer a radical approach to addressing the problems that plague school governance. Proponents of choice argue that the traditional design of state-controlled public education tends to produce ineffective, unresponsive, and inequitable schools, and that democratic control and public bureaucracy have given rise to interest group dominance, institutional rigidity, insensitivity to the preferences of families, and weak systems of managerial control (Chubb and Moe, 1990). By introducing market mechanisms into education, choicebased reforms are designed to strike at the root of the problem by enhancing the power of individual consumers (families) at the expense of organized interests and public employees.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 102. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 105 Number 10, 2003, p. 114-135
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18601, Date Accessed: 11/23/2017 4:35:37 AM

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About the Author
  • Frederick Hess
    American Enterprise Institute
    E-mail Author
    FREDERICK M. HESS is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author, most recently, of Revolution at the Margins: The Impact of Competition on Urban School Systems.
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