Public Goods, Private Goods: The American Struggle Over Educational Goals

  title={Public Goods, Private Goods: The American Struggle Over Educational Goals},
  author={David Labaree},
  journal={American Educational Research Journal},
  pages={39 - 81}
  • David Labaree
  • Published 1997
  • Education
  • American Educational Research Journal
This article explores three alternative goals for American education that have been at the root of educational conflicts over the years: democratic equality (schools should focus on preparing citizens), social efficiency (they should focus on training workers), and social mobility (they should prepare individuals to compete for social positions). These goals represent, respectively, the educational perspective of the citizen, the taxpayer, and the consumer. Whereas the first two look on… 

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