Edward B. Fiske and Helen F. Ladd's book about the New Zealand school reforms, When Schools Compete: A Cautionary Tale, was recently published by the Brookings Institution Press. Further information about Edward B. Fiske can be found at his website http://www.fiskeguide.com/ebf/index.html.
Some of the most widely discussed and controversial proposals for reforming American schools focus on the twin themes of giving local schools more operational autonomy and forcing them to compete for students. Proponents of charter schools and voucher plans argue that schools must be liberated from the controlling hands of educational bureaucrats. If such operational freedom is combined with parental choice, the argument goes, both the means and the incentives will be in place for schools to deliver quality teaching and learning.