Evaluating the Trade-offs in Student Outcomes from Alternative School Organization Policies

  • James M. McPartland
  • Robert L. Crain


At a few key points in the history of American public schools, tensions have surfaced between the goal of educational equity—providing egalitarian access to all levels of education—and the goal of educational quality—maintaining high standards of student performance. These occasions include the debate over a common curriculum prompted by the report of the Committee of Ten in 1893, the emergence of vocational course offerings that accompanied the 1918 NEA Commission’s “Cardinal Principles of Secondary Education” and curriculum proposals to improve the comprehensive high school and upgrade instruction in mathematics and science beginning in the 1950s following the Conant reports and in reaction to Sputnik. But usually Americans ignore dilemmas between equity and quality in their debates about school policy, apparently assuming that schools can progress on both fronts without making trade-offs between them and without making difficult decisions about resource allocations and cost efficiencies.


Educational Quality Parental Choice Remedial Instruction Educational Choice Instructional Resource 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. McPartland
    • 1
  • Robert L. Crain
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Social Organization of SchoolsJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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