Charter schooling and democratic justice
As the mixed achievements of charter schools come under more intense political inspection, the conceptual underpinnings of current charter school reform remain largely unexamined. This article focuses on one moralpolitical concept centrally related to school reform and policy, the concept of justice. Using examples from the state of Ohio, the authors sketch two contrary concepts of justice, tracing their logical trajectory to varied empirical consequences as these relate to charter schooling policy. They contrast these two theories of justice as “libertarian justice” and “democratic justice.” There is ample evidence to suggest that a libertarian sense of justice has pervasively shaped charter policies and minimal evidence to suggest the influence of a democratic sense of justice, based on principles of both recognition and redistribution. The full democratic potential of charter schooling reform cannot be achieved without a democratic conception of justice driving its policies and goals.
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