Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2008 Issue »

    Free Marketeers, Policy Wonks, and Yankee Democracy

    School Vouchers in New Hampshire, 1973–1976

    Jim Carl, Cleveland State University
    In this article, Jim Carl uses archival sources and interviews to chronicle the effort to bring school vouchers to New Hampshire. In 1973, the New Hampshire Department of Education initiated a plan, funded by the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, to institute vouchers in a handful of school districts. Though the initiative had the support of prominent economists, scholars, and political leaders at federal and state levels, the state’s urban districts declined to participate, and in the few rural districts that agreed to the planning phase, voters rejected vouchers in 1976. Although advocates chalked up the reversal of support to voter apathy and opposition from the teachers union, Carl identifies deeper reasons for the rejection of the vouchers, including the exclusion of sectarian schools, concerns about federal interference, and the logistical challenges of implementing vouchers in rural areas. The obstacles in New Hampshire yielded lessons for policymakers seeking to build popular and political support for subsequent voucher plans.

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    Jim Carl is an associate professor of education and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Foundations at Cleveland State University. His research and writing have focused on two areas: the history and politics of education reform in the postwar United States and the origins of mass schooling in the United States and Europe. He is currently sorting out the political alignments, class and ethnic conflicts, and competing ideologies behind school-voucher initiatives in Louisiana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Ohio as part of a study tentatively titled “Freedom of Choice: Voucher Movements in American Education, 1954–2002.”
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    Winter 2008 Issue


    Interview with Geeta Rao Gupta, International Center for Research on Women
    Free Marketeers, Policy Wonks, and Yankee Democracy
    School Vouchers in New Hampshire, 1973–1976
    Jim Carl, Cleveland State University
    Can Higher Education Meet the Needs of an Increasingly Diverse and Global Society?
    Campus Diversity and Cross-Cultural Workforce Competencies
    Uma M. Jayakumar, University of Michigan
    Modeling Compassion in Critical, Justice-Oriented Teacher Education
    Hilary Gehlbach Conklin, University of Georgia
    Testing the Waters
    Three Elements of Classroom Inquiry
    Pat Clifford and Susan J. Marinucci, Galileo Educational Network Association

    Book Notes

    Realizing Bakke’s Legacy: Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, and Access to Higher Education
    Edited by Patricia Marin and Catherine L. Horn

    American Higher Education Transformed, 1940–2005: Documenting the National Discourse
    Edited by Wilson Smith and Thomas Bender

    Two Million Minutes: A Global Examination
    By Robert A. Compton (executive producer), Adam Raney (producer), and Chad Heeter (director)

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