Muffled by the Din: The Competitive Noneffects of the Cleveland Voucher Program


by Frederick M. Hess & Patrick J. McGuinn — 2002

School choice proponents have hypothesized that market-based education reform will compel traditional public schools to become more effective. We explore this hypothesis by examining how the introduction of the Cleveland voucher experiment in 1995 affected the administration and leadership of the city’s public schools. As of the summer of 2001, the program had produced virtually no visible effects. The voucher program has been relatively unthreatening during this time period because of its small size, its uncertain legal prospects, and certain institutional features—some of which are unique to Cleveland and others that characterize most urban school systems. We conclude that choice-based reform may not spur improvement in urban school systems, at least in the short term or when the programs are heavily restricted. The central lesson of the Cleveland case, however, is not that competition cannot cause urban school systems to change; it is that the timing and degree of such changes will be largely a product of the particular educational, political, and organizational context as well as the design of choice programs themselves.


To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Sign-in
Email:
Password:
Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
 
Purchase this Article
Purchase Muffled by the Din: The Competitive Noneffects of the Cleveland Voucher Program
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
$12
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
$25
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.
$210


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 4, 2002, p. 727-764
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10896, Date Accessed: 10/18/2017 11:36:25 PM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review