Caught in a School Choice Quandary: What should an equity-minded parent do?

Theory and Research in Education 21 (2):155-175 (2023)
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In this article, I examine a case involving an equity-minded parent caught in a quandary about which school to select for her child, knowing that her decision may have consequences for others. To do so, I heuristically construct a fictional portrait and explore the deliberative process a parent might have through a dialogue taking place among ‘friends’, where each friend personifies a different set of ethical considerations. I then briefly consider two competing philosophical assessments but argue that neither position helpfully assists in resolving the quandary. To conclude, I ask the provocative question whether parental motives – but also their school choices – actually matter if the inequitable outcomes seem to remain unchanged.

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Michael S. Merry
University of Amsterdam


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