There has been much recent talk and rhetoric in both educational and political circles about the utility of choice as a means of improving our educational system. Timothy W. Young and Evans Clinchy point out in "Choice in Public Education", we should always be talking about choice in public schools - where parents can choose the kind of public school they want for their children and educators can choose the kind of public schooling they wish to practice. While private schools will always play a role in our educational system, the authors argue that voucher plans that simply make it easier for financially well-off families to send their children to a private school are not the answer. Young and Clinchy define the various public choice alternatives, discuss the three other absolutely necessary components of educational reform - diversity, autonomy and equity - and profile three public school districts which have implemented choice with varying degrees of success. These case studies provide useful data that lead the authors to advocate for the best school choice alternative, "controlled choice" within an alternative/magnet school program.
The last part of the book outlines a detailed step-by-step process of carefully introducing a system of choice.