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Browsing by Subject "ulkoisvaikutukset"

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  • Karlsson, Charlotta (2014)
    Since the 1980s, neo-liberal tendencies have had a marked influence on Finnish education policy. In 1994, legislative amendments made it possible for families to choose a school other than the neighbourhood school assigned to them. In recent years, the differentiation between schools and the differences in the social composition of pupils and school achievement have increased in particular in the metropolitan area. With increased polarization in the social composition of pupils, the more challenging pupils will concentrate in certain schools and the less challenging ones in other schools. Previous research indicates that the differences between pupil populations increase even faster than the differences between areas of residence. The purpose of this study was to describe, analyse and interpret the views regarding school choice held by the local education authorities in the metropolitan area. The aim was to investigate how the authorities recognise the phenomenon of school choice and its externalities. The externalities were named and recognised on the basis of the interview data and evaluated as positive, negative or neutral. The authorities' views on the politicization of the issue and its potential for politicization were investigated. The data comes from the interviews made in the project School markets and segregation – the social costs of school choice. Nine local education authorities from the metropolitan area were interviewed. Three participants were higher municipal officials, three were municipal officials and three belonged to local education committees. The data was analysed using theory-directed content analysis. The local authorities recognised the externalities and their practical consequences well and considered them mainly as negative. It was felt that there is potential for politicization in the question of school choice but for the time being it was not felt to have happened. School choice appeared as a complex phenomenon strongly influenced by housing and social policy. The study presents the authorities' angle into the discussion on school choice, which in previous research has played a minor role than, for example, regional policy.