Private versus public education: the Alberta debate in the 1980s
During the 1980s Alberta experienced a significant debate about the merits of private education. After describing the historical background of, and major episodes in, this debate, the thesis assesses the three major arguments made against private schools: (1) that they undermined the quality of education expected in Alberta schools; (2) that they threatened the social cohesion of the province; and (3) that they infringed the rights of children to acquire broader intellectual and psychological horizons than those provided by their immediate families and communities. Finding none of these rationales to be so powerful and unquestionable as to support the vehemence with which they were employed, the thesis probes the deeper reasons for this vehemence. While some opponents of private education seemed driven primarily by commitment to the social visions or ideologies summed up by their arguments, the evidence confirms the prediction of public choice theorists that the same arguments would be little more than rationalizations of self-interest for the largest and most powerful opponent: Alberta's public education establishment.
Bibliography: p. 103-112.
Wagner, M. G. (1995). Private versus public education: the Alberta debate in the 1980s (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/19195