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The School Choice Wars (Scarecrow Education Book)

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0810839564
ISBN-10: 0810839563
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Editorial Reviews


Passionate and persuasive. Merrifield pulls no punches in his criticism of alternate approaches. This important book is bound to be controversial. (Dr. Milton Friedman, 1976 Nobel Laureate)

...a seminal contribution to explaining why the current school choice wars cannot change our educational system. (Seymour Sarason, Ph.D., emeritus professor of psychology at Yale University, and author of Political Leadership and Educational Failure)

In presenting the issues of a truly competitive education industry, he is as much a teacher as a researcher. No matter what camp of education reform you belong to, you can learn a great deal from The School Choice Wars. (John Pisciotta, senior fellow, Texas Public Policy Foundation and associate professor of Economics, Baylor University)

...my early favorite for Best School Reform Book of 2001. Even school reformers committed to an incrementalist approach will benefit from Merrifield's instructions on the proper use of rhetoric and the importance of communicating the goal of creating a true competitive education industry. (Joseph L. Bast, author of We Can Rescue Our Children and Rebuilding America's Schools, founding publisher of School Reform News and president of)

The School Choice Wars is essential reading in the discussions of education reform.... If his analysis is widely read, it will transform the debate over school choice in the United States, to a debate over a competitive education industry. (Dr. Myron Lieberman, chairman, Education Policy Institute)

...a sharp, punchy, action-oriented book. The author...appears to have read ― and cited ― every article and study on school choice ever written. (Martin Morse Wooster The Washington Times)

The book, citing up-to-date research, would be a valuable resource to administrators regardless of where they stand on the issue of school choice. (School Administrator)

About the Author

John Merrifield is a member of the Economics Faculty at the University of Texas, San Antonio, and a Senior Research Associate at the Education Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.

Product Details

  • Series: Scarecrow Education Book
  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: R&L Education (May 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810839563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810839564
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,305,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
John Merrifield exhibits a first-clss undrstanding of how the marketplace works, why it works well, and how it should work in the context of schooling. Rather than have an educational elite or tyranical majority make the choices for our children, Dr. Merrifield argues that parents in consultation with their children should be allowed to make such choices themselves. School vouchers, originally proposed by Milton Friedman, provides just such a way. While the prinicple is simple and would have the effect of keeping costs low and quality high, the political application of those principles has been sorely lacking. The handful of experiments with vouchers have had the decks stacked against them, as Dr. Merrifield demonstrates convincingly. In short, John Merrifield's book effectively supports his position in favor of vouchers by laying out both the conceptual and empirical framework for understanding what he has termed "the school choice wars."
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Format: Paperback
John Merrifield's book is simply the best book on the subject of choice available today. Merrifield, a colleague of the Father of School Choice, Milton Friedman, is an academic who has dedicated himself to the study of this subject. He is not some dilitante who wants to make a few dollars from the sale of a sloppily-written book. He has brought all the power of his impressive intellect to bear upon his topic. It is also the most up-to-date study of a complex subject which changes and evolves every year. Most other books on the subject which were once quite informative are now like an old newspaper -- a part of dusty history.
Merrifield is at his best in understanding and presenting all arguments against choice. He has been to the academic conferences -- the birth places of the liberal spin. He knows firsthand what arguments the Democrats will use against choice next year and he offers well-reasoned and effective counters to each shot the liberals have offered or will offer.
As a scholar, Merrifield is used to tough scrutiny. His work has stood up to peer review. His work has been challenged at rigorous academic conferences. It has been improved by a man whose ideas are constantly evolving. The reader of this book has the benefit of all of that intellectual ferment. The mistakes in ideas and tactics have been weeded out of this book.
The reader of this book will be getting the best, most cutting-edge work on the subject.
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Format: Paperback
There are other reviews posted at the publisher website for the book: [...]%5EDB/CATALOG.db&eqSKUdata=0810839539 I'd copy the reviews onto the Amazon website, but I don't know what 'star rating' the reviewers would have intended.
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