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School Choice, Education Privatization, & Local Level Education Reform in China: Using Education Voucher in Changxing County as Example

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Abstract:

This paper mainly analyzes the relationships between local level education policy reform, education privatization, and school choice process. It first explains and discusses the school choice and education privatization in present-day China; second, it analyses the education voucher plan in Changxing County as case study; third, it briefly discusses other examples of voucher plan in China; and finally, it makes a conclusion and discusses about areas of future research. This paper mainly focuses on local level education policy and educational reform.

Education is always one of the crucial issues in Chinese people’s daily lives. During the past thousands of years, non-government schools were always popular in both rural and urban areas of China. According to the Julia Kwong’s (1997) research, after taking power in China in 1949, the communists closed most private schools and made education become fully under government’s control. Before 1978, almost all Chinese people’s whole education process was designed, regulated, and monitored by the government and CPC. During the recent decades however, because of the public policy reform and socioeconomic development, the education system in China is changing rapidly, making education reform an academic centerpiece for researchers who focus on China. Nowadays, non-government education is developing faster and faster, and school choice policy also becomes more and more flexible. Because of several reasons, including education privatization, economic growth, as well as the education policy reform, the basic education admission system is undergoing groundbreaking changes. While facing such changes and attendant problems, such as unfairness in school choice process, some local level governments are trying to implementing their own education policy reform to improve both education quality and equality, and benefit local education system and students.

For example, during the past decade, in Eastern China, a county called Changxing is trying to use “education voucher plan” to benefit local students and basic education system via optimizing the process of school choice. Similar education plans are also employed by many other regions such as Ruian County in Zhejiang Province and Chengdu City in Sichuan Province. Because of the regional differences in China, there is no reason to understate the value and importance of local level education policy reform. Because of such educational transformation, many researchers focus on such topics. Some researchers discuss the transformation of non-government education and school choice process in China through macro-level perspective, and others analyze the local level policy reform in micro-level perspective. This paper analyzes the relationships between local level education policy reform, education privatization, and school choice process from both micro and macro perspectives. It first talks about the overall situations of school choice and education privatization and their intrinsic relationships; and then, introduces and discusses the “education voucher plan” in Changxing County as case study; furthermore, it briefly introduces and discusses other examples of local level voucher plan in China and their current and potential effects; and finally, it makes a conclusion based on the previous discussions. The areas of future research will also be mentioned. This paper is mainly based on reviewing previous thoughts and ideas in the relevant fields, reanalyzing the previous field research findings about education voucher plan in Changxing County, as well as developing personal opinions based on analytical studies among the previous research.

This paper finally concludes three major points: First of all, the potential and deep motivating factors of local level education reform, such as employing voucher plan, can be concluded as the “twin policy” of reform and opening up as well as the political reform since 1980s. Second, the direct motivating factors of local level education reform can be concluded as the education privatization and school choice process reform. Finally, no matter how limited its role is, the voucher plan somehow improves the equity in basic education level schools choice process.
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Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
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MLA Citation:

Wu, Hantian. "School Choice, Education Privatization, & Local Level Education Reform in China: Using Education Voucher in Changxing County as Example" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p713260_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wu, H. , 2014-03-10 "School Choice, Education Privatization, & Local Level Education Reform in China: Using Education Voucher in Changxing County as Example" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p713260_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper mainly analyzes the relationships between local level education policy reform, education privatization, and school choice process. It first explains and discusses the school choice and education privatization in present-day China; second, it analyses the education voucher plan in Changxing County as case study; third, it briefly discusses other examples of voucher plan in China; and finally, it makes a conclusion and discusses about areas of future research. This paper mainly focuses on local level education policy and educational reform.

Education is always one of the crucial issues in Chinese people’s daily lives. During the past thousands of years, non-government schools were always popular in both rural and urban areas of China. According to the Julia Kwong’s (1997) research, after taking power in China in 1949, the communists closed most private schools and made education become fully under government’s control. Before 1978, almost all Chinese people’s whole education process was designed, regulated, and monitored by the government and CPC. During the recent decades however, because of the public policy reform and socioeconomic development, the education system in China is changing rapidly, making education reform an academic centerpiece for researchers who focus on China. Nowadays, non-government education is developing faster and faster, and school choice policy also becomes more and more flexible. Because of several reasons, including education privatization, economic growth, as well as the education policy reform, the basic education admission system is undergoing groundbreaking changes. While facing such changes and attendant problems, such as unfairness in school choice process, some local level governments are trying to implementing their own education policy reform to improve both education quality and equality, and benefit local education system and students.

For example, during the past decade, in Eastern China, a county called Changxing is trying to use “education voucher plan” to benefit local students and basic education system via optimizing the process of school choice. Similar education plans are also employed by many other regions such as Ruian County in Zhejiang Province and Chengdu City in Sichuan Province. Because of the regional differences in China, there is no reason to understate the value and importance of local level education policy reform. Because of such educational transformation, many researchers focus on such topics. Some researchers discuss the transformation of non-government education and school choice process in China through macro-level perspective, and others analyze the local level policy reform in micro-level perspective. This paper analyzes the relationships between local level education policy reform, education privatization, and school choice process from both micro and macro perspectives. It first talks about the overall situations of school choice and education privatization and their intrinsic relationships; and then, introduces and discusses the “education voucher plan” in Changxing County as case study; furthermore, it briefly introduces and discusses other examples of local level voucher plan in China and their current and potential effects; and finally, it makes a conclusion based on the previous discussions. The areas of future research will also be mentioned. This paper is mainly based on reviewing previous thoughts and ideas in the relevant fields, reanalyzing the previous field research findings about education voucher plan in Changxing County, as well as developing personal opinions based on analytical studies among the previous research.

This paper finally concludes three major points: First of all, the potential and deep motivating factors of local level education reform, such as employing voucher plan, can be concluded as the “twin policy” of reform and opening up as well as the political reform since 1980s. Second, the direct motivating factors of local level education reform can be concluded as the education privatization and school choice process reform. Finally, no matter how limited its role is, the voucher plan somehow improves the equity in basic education level schools choice process.


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