Some subscribers to MathEdCC might be interested in a recent post "Economist Kern Alexander Explains the Problem with School Choice" [Hake (2013)].  The abstract reads:

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ABSTRACT: Diane Ravitch (2013) in her blog entry "An Economist Explains the Problem with Choice" at <http://bit.ly/11r9xCJ> has pointed to Kern Alexander's "Asymmetric Information, Parental Choice, Vouchers, Charter Schools and Stiglitz" at <http://bit.ly/XuBB2u>. Alexander wrote:

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The story goes that tuition voucher schools and charter schools are creatures of the spirit of capitalism and that public funding of them will increase competition, making all schools more efficient and academically better, especially public schools. For that theory to work it is hypothesized that parents as "rational people will make choices as to the education of their children in perfect markets." In the realm of economics, this reasoning is called the "rational expectations hypothesis" or the "efficient markets hypothesis" - see "The Myth of the Rational Market"[Fox (2011, p. 178)] at <http://amzn.to/Wd4ukl>.

The "efficient markets" notion applied to schools via parental choice means that parents will, in their wisdom, utilize public money to send their children to private schools and that *ipso facto* the education level of the nation rises commensurate with the level and intensity of competition among parents in choosing private, clerical, and/or corporate charter schools. . . .  . unfortunately, experience indicates that parental choices are ensnared and limited by the parents' own limited experiences, level of learning, ignorance, biases, and mythology on which they depend to make educational choices for their children and is, thus, in most cases, highly suspect. . . .

Today institutions of higher education, public and private, remain largely segregated by race, religion and economic condition. White colleges and universities remain primarily white, Black institutions remain primarily black, and denominational institutions remain even more religiously identifiable. . . . . . Such segregation is sanctified with tons of federal and state money in the forms of tuition vouchers, tax credits and government subsidized loans. The Obama administration has been largely foreclosed from remedying the situation for fear of offending powerful political forces representing the investors and private institutions.
The higher education voucher/loan dilemma portends a probable scenario for the future of tuition vouchers and charter schools at the primary and secondary levels. . . . . . School tuition vouchers and charter schools are the operational models for implementation of the "narrow self-interest." It is easy to recognize, but difficult to justify.
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To access the complete 14 kB post please click on <http://bit.ly/WIdRH5>.
Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
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REFERENCES [URL shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 02 Feb 2013.]
Hake, R.R. 2013. "Economist Kern Alexander Explains the Problem with School Choice,"  online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://bit.ly/WIdRH5>. Post of 02 Feb 2013 13:00:30-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/We8IrV> with a provision for comments.