School Choice and Social Justice


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School choice, the leading educational reform proposal in the English-speaking world today, evokes extreme responses-its defenders present it as the saviour; its opponents as the death knell of a fair educational system. Disagreement and vagueness about what constitutes social justice ineducation muddies the debate. The author provides a new theory of justice for education, arguing that justice requires that all children have a real opportunity to become autonomous persons, and that the state use a criterion of educational equality for deploying educational resources. Throughsystematic presentation of empirical evidence, the author argues that existing schemes do not fare well against the criterion of social justice, yet this need not impugn school choice. Brighouse offers a school choice proposal that could implement social justice and explains why other essentialeducational reforms can be compatible with choice.

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