Education: A Golden Age

“The education sector’s structure and policies will change more in the next 3 years than they changed in the last 2,500 years”

Sweden: tremendous voucher policy progress


“The variety of schools has increased throughout Sweden. The voucher system means that all students, irrespective of family income, can attend non-public schools. Even in rural areas there is now a wide choice of schools and it seems that the overall quality of Swedish schools has benefited from competition. The very existence of non-public schools has created a demand for reform also of public schools. If there is a difference, it also seems that non-public schools often are better at dealing with children with learning problems.

…three features seem particularly important when looking at the experience gained. Reform was based on a combination of public and market systems. It was general in its form, without demanding that non-public schools had to be special in order to be licensed. And reform reached out to cover all students.

This is what Sweden can offer, probably the most ambitions voucher system in the world but screwed into a social framework that is deeply rooted in the country. It is worth studying because, at the end of the day, it is using common principles of competition in an area where earlier such principles had not been generally accepted. One thing is for sure. “No change” is not an acceptable alternative.”


2008/03/5 - Posted by | Charter schools, Europe, Performance - school, Policy, Sweden, Vouchers

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