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The Politics of Public EducationReform Ideas and Issues$
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Helen M. Gunter

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447339588

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447339588.001.0001

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Plurality: the idea and reality of choice

Plurality: the idea and reality of choice

(p.47) Three Plurality: the idea and reality of choice
The Politics of Public Education

Helen M. Gunter

Policy Press

This chapter considers the continued dominance of the private over the common purposes of education. It focuses on access to a school and examines what this means for plurality. Notably, through the deployment of the Education Policy Knowledgeable Polity, it gives prime attention to the demand side and how deregulation by the state means that parents have been offered ‘choice’ in the public system through schemes such as vouchers. The practices involved in offering and responding to the exercise of a preference for a ‘good’ school place is enabled through a form of depoliticisation by colonisation of globally networked market ideologies. Instinctively it seems that vouchers are enabling of plurality, but the chapter show how parental choice mechanisms are primarily rhetorical, by facilitating and strengthening segregation as a form of biopolitical distinctiveness.

Keywords:   education, plurality, education policy, knowledgeable polity, public education, vouchers, parental choice, school segregation

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