Rethinking the Market Metaphor
Beal, B. D., & Olson Beal, H. K. 2013. Rethinking the market metaphor: School choice, the common good, and the National Football League. Journal of School Choice: International Research and Reform, 7(4): 471-497. [PDF, journal]
School choice advocates often assume that market-like competition will create a dynamic K-12 educational environment that will result in improved outcomes. We critically examine this assumption and draw on the literature on market failure and social dilemmas to demonstrate that the market metaphor in a public schooling context has limited utility. We then compare K-12 education to an unlikely context—the National Football League (NFL). We use this comparison to generate a number of insights into how parental choice might be leveraged within the K-12 education system to improve outcomes.
This paper was published with a number of comments from different school-choice scholars. We responded to these comments in this invited article published in the same issue:
Beal, B. D., & Olson Beal, H. K. 2013. Chasing rainbows: A comment on school choice and the National Football League. Journal of School Choice: International Research and Reform, 7(4): 520-531. [PDF]