Incentivising Excellence: how school choice affects education quality, by Gabriel H. Sahlgren, Director of Research, The Centre for Market Reform of Education
Introduced by Professor Philip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs
with Neil McIntosh, recently retired Chief Executive of the CfBT Education Trust, one of Britain's largest educational charities.
Spurred by perceived inefficiencies in centralised state schooling, school choice in publicly funded education has during the past decades gone from being a fringe academic theory to a mainstream policy option considered by politicians all over the world.
This book begins with a discussion of the theory linking school choice to education quality, and the conditions that need to be fulfilled. Without complementary reforms designed to alter the incentive structure in education, there is little reason to suggest that choice would generate large gains. This, in turn, indicates that system design matters strongly for the outcomes of choice programmes.
Second, the book provides a comprehensive evaluation of the research regarding the effect of school choice on educational achievement – encompassing multi-country studies and research on large, nat