In 1990, Terry M. Moe and John E. Chubb stirred a national debate over school choice with their pathbreaking book, Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools [Brookings], which was hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “the education book of the year . . . an icon-smashing book on school reform.”
Terry Moe’s new book, Schools, Vouchers, and the American Public, takes a penetrating look at the school voucher movement and its likely consequences for American education in the years to come.
Based on an extensive, nationally representative sample, Moe’s research shows that Americans are at once supportive of the public schools and quite open to vouchers, which have special appeal to those who are less advantaged and whose children are often consigned to the worst public schools. The voucher movement, he argues, has greatest public appeal when it moves away from free-market ideals toward limited, regulated approaches that target the neediest children?and over time, this path to reform is likely to succeed in transforming American education, leading not to a fully privatized system of vouchers, but to a mixed system of government and markets, much as we have in our economy.