Contrasting Models of State and School: A Comparative Historical Study of Parental Choice and State Control

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Through a historical study of two very different pairs of European countries, Glenn illuminates the debate surrounding educational freedom and a State-controlled model. 'School Choice' is one of the most hotly debated topics in educational policy. International comparison makes it possible to gain perspective on the issue, and this book profiles - historically and in current policies - two countries which give most support to parental choice (The Netherlands and Belgium) and two others which maintain a strong State role in controlling education (Germany and Austria). Charles L. Glenn has read extensively in Dutch, French, and German sources, and brings to his analysis several decades of experience as a government official in education. By comparing the Dutch model of educational freedom with the similar though distinct Belgian model, and contrasting it with the German and Austrian models - showing how these differences took shape in the 19th century and persist today - Glenn illuminates the policies behind these models, and clearly lays out what we can learn from their strengths and weaknesses. This is essential reading for policy specialists concerned with models of school autonomy versus government control, and the debates over parental choice of schools.