Basic Education Reform in China


  • Chengzhi Wang Princeton University
  • Quanhua Zhou University of Arizona



Academic Achievement, Developing Nations, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries


China's recent basic education reform followed and, in a certain way, imitated its economic reform. The economic reform merged the experimental dual (planned and market) price systems into a free market economy and yielded phenomenal success. Basic education reform, however, has not succeeded in transforming the introductory dual-track (key school and regular school) systems into a universal one. This article briefly examines the general process and outcomes of basic education reform. It discusses the following questions: Is basic education reform also a story of success? What significant lessons can the Chinese reform experience offer to other comparable developing countries?


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Chengzhi Wang, Princeton University

Chengzhi Wang did his doctorate work in educational policy studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He taught English education at a normal university in China and multicultural education at a teaching university in Illinois. He now works as an academic professional at the Princeton University.

Quanhua Zhou, University of Arizona

Quanhua Zhou is a doctoral student at the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona. He earned a Master's degree in International Relations and worked in the administration of Peking University for several years. His research interests include higher education finance and educational policy.




How to Cite

Wang, C., & Zhou, Q. (2002). Basic Education Reform in China. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 10, 15.