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The illusion of equality: the educational consequences of blinding the weak states

Pritchett, Lant and Viarengo, Martina (2009) The illusion of equality: the educational consequences of blinding the weak states. Working papers, 178. Centre for Global Development, Washington D.C., USA.

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Identification Number: 178

Abstract

Do school systems under central government control provide equal education to all students? Although direct control can enforce uniform standards, measures, and teacher qualifications, large bureaucracies tend to rely on a small set of simple, objective, and easily verified characteristics that can blind them to local realities. Using data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the authors compare public and private schools in 34 countries. They find that public schools systems in countries with strong governments have more equality than their private counterparts, but the situation is reversed in weaker states. When government is weak, centralized control can project only the illusion of equality while actually producing more inequality than “uncontrolled” local schools under bottom-up control.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.cgdev.org/
Additional Information: © 2009 The authors
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2009 11:09
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2011 09:26
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/25312

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