Choice or Equity in Education?

This paper, by Trevor Cobbold, was delivered to the Education Summit in Sydney in June 2008.

It argues that choice has failed the promise of its advocates to improve education outcomes and that it has not only deflected education systems from dealing with the major challenge of inequity in education, but has exacerbated inequity.

The result has been to reinforce privilege in education. The paper further argues that while choice in any education system is inevitable and cannot be denied, it should be strictly controlled in order to give priority to improving equity in education. The paper also sets out some fundamental steps to improve equity in education in Australia.

Choice or Equity in Education

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