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Choosing for quality or inequality: current perspectives on the implementation of school choice policy in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
2010 (English)In: Journal of education policy, ISSN 0268-0939, E-ISSN 1464-5106, Vol. 25, no 1, 1-18 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A policy of school choice has, in various shapes, been implemented in educational systems across the world during the last decades. Drawing on various empirical and theoretical sources, the aim of this article is to distinguish the key defining elements of the Swedish school choice policy and to present and discuss some of its outcomes in terms of segregation, costs, and student achievements. Thus I show that the policy design contains some peculiarities since it nourishes both a strong market-orientation and an equally strong market-skepticism. Regarding the outcomes I show that the research is pervaded by ambiguity and uncertainty regarding whether the policy has delivered its promises or, on the contrary, it has worsened the state of education by increasing segregation and crowding out some schools of their socially strongest students. Finally, I argue that due to its peculiarities the school choice policy in itself so far has, surprisingly or not, had a relatively small impact on the overall educational quality and equity in Sweden. I also argue that since the market forces are definitely gaining the upper hand under the current liberal-conservative government, we can soon expect some decisive changes in the way school choice operates and with what results in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 25, no 1, 1-18 p.
Keyword [en]
school choice, equity, market, segregation, efficiency
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-48998DOI: 10.1080/02680930903377415ISI: 000277584600001OAI: diva2:376196
authorCount :1<Available from: 2010-12-10 Created: 2010-12-10 Last updated: 2010-12-14Bibliographically approved

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Bunar, Nihad
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