Recent Articles


Policy advocacy, inequity, and school fees and fundraising in Ontario, Canada
Sue Winton, Michelle Milani
Fundraising and collecting fees are ubiquitous in Ontario, Canada’s public schools. Critics assert that these practices perpetuate and exacerbate inequities between schools and communities. In this article we present findings from a critical policy analysis of an advocacy group’s efforts to change Ontario’s fees and fundraising policies over the past two decades. Rhetorical analyses of 110...

Market “choices” or structured pathways? How specialized arts education contributes to the reproduction of inequality
Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández, Gillian Parekh
Located in one of the most diverse cities in the world, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) offers several programs catering to a variety of student interests. Specialty Arts Programs (SAPs) have gained particular attention in part because of their reputation as excellent schools providing a unique opportunity for training in the arts. However, recently such programs have also raised...

How do marginalized families engage school choice in inequitable urban landscapes? A critical geographic approach
Ee-Seul Yoon, Christopher Lubienski
This paper examines the K-12 school choice practices and patterns of marginalized urban families whose relative living conditions have worsened in recent decades with growing income disparities. In particular, the paper draws from critical geography and the sociology of education to examine the significance of habitus, capital, field as well as site as space and place in understanding the...

Introduction to the special issue: Studying school choice in Canada
Christopher Lubienski, Ee-Seul Yoon
In this article, we introduce the special issue that illuminates issues in school choice and education marketization in contemporary Canada. We begin with a discussion of the proliferation of market models across the globe and the kind of questions that have arisen as public policymakers, philanthropists, and other private interests have embraced and advanced market-oriented reforms. Then we...

The changing landscape of school choice in Canada: From pluralism to parental preference?
Lynn Bosetti, Deani Van Pelt, Derek Allison
This paper provides a descriptive account of the growing landscape of school choice in Canada through a comparative analysis of funding and student enrolment in the public, independent and home-based education sectors in each province. Given that the provinces have responsibility for K-12 education, the mixture of public, independent and home school education varies rather widely by province,...

Open competition or balkanized coexistence? The effects of market segments on Toronto private schools
Roger Pizarro Milian, Scott Davies
For over 25 years, school choice advocates have argued that market competition drives educational organizations to become more differentiated and technically-oriented. However, empirical research has only partially supported this view, observing such outcomes only under certain conditions. To better understand the contingent nature of market effects within education, we draw on sociological...

The time of literacy in Ceará: The PAIC and the multiple streams model
Lilia Asuca Sumiya, Maria Arlete Duarte Araújo, Hironobu Sano
This study aims to understand how the issue of illiteracy became prominent on the agenda of Ceara’s state government, in Brazil, by analyzing the formulation of the Literacy Program at the Right Age (PAIC). Tracing the origin of the program and applying Kingdon’s (1995) multiple streams model, the study identifies the elements of problems, politics and public policy streams. This research...

The social networks and paradoxes of the opt-out movement amid the Common Core State Standards implementation: The case of New York
Yinying Wang
Opting out of state standardized tests has recently become a movement—a series of grassroots, organized efforts to refuse to take high-stakes state standardized tests. In particular, the opt-out rates in the state of New York reached 20% in 2015 and 21% in 2016. This study aims to illustrate the social networks and examine the paradoxes that have propelled the opt-out movement in New York—the...

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