Competition Favours the Strong

Diane Ravitch says it all about the role of competition in education policy:

Competitions are always won by the strong, never the weak…..Competition does not lead to equity, but to a few winners and many, many losers. What a bizarre concept for the US Department of Education. The market dissolves any sense of the common good, any obligation to take care of the stragglers. They lose.

What’s more there is no conclusive evidence that competition between schools increases student achievement as many studies have shown. A recent review of competition studies published in a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies in the UK concludes:

Despite the numerous studies available, there is no definitive evidence for the effects of school competition…. the evidence on the beneficial impact of school choice is inconclusive, as some studies report positive effects while others refute them. [pp.37, 38]

Yet, the Labor and Liberal/National parties continue to advocate greater competition in education. They both refuse to formulate education policy based on evidence. They put faith and ideology before evidence.

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