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Realizing Educational RightsAdvancing School Reform through Courts and Communities$
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Anne Newman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226071749

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226071886.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Education Policy Making in the Shadow of an Enduring Democratic Dilemma

Education Policy Making in the Shadow of an Enduring Democratic Dilemma

(p.9) Chapter One Education Policy Making in the Shadow of an Enduring Democratic Dilemma
Realizing Educational Rights

Anne Newman

University of Chicago Press

This chapter begins to advance the book’s main argument: that we should regard the education that prepares individuals for equal citizenship as a fundamental right that is shielded from majoritarian politics far more than existing practices permit, and far more than most theory recognizes is necessary. Concern for this right is motivated by the worry that leading accounts of democracy often fail to protect the interests of marginalized students. In this and subsequent chapters, arguments about a right to education are located in a deliberative democracy. As education scholars and reformers increasingly look to deliberative ideals to improve the education policy process, it is especially important to consider how well this approach to policy-making serves less advantaged students. The chapter first calls attention to the opportunities and challenges that deliberative theory presents for advancing just education policies. It next shows how leading conceptions of deliberation fail to ensure that all students receive a high quality education due to the wide discretion they give democratic bodies to determine public provisions for education. Finally, it discusses the unique relationship between educational opportunity and political equality, which underscores the need for a right to education that is set above democratic decision-making.

Keywords:   Equal citizenship, Political equality, Right to education, Deliberative democracy, Majoritarian politics, Education policy-making, Educational opportunity

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