Susanna Loeb is the Director of the Annenberg Institute at Brown University and Professor of Education and Professor of International and Public Affairs.
Harry Brighouse is a professor who teaches applied ethics, political philosophy, and ethics at the University of Wisconsin - Madison
We spend a lot of time arguing about how schools might be improved. But we rarely take a step back to ask what we as a society should be looking for from education — what exactly should those who make decisions be trying to achieve? "Educational Goods" advances a theory of how to combine values and evidence in decision-making about education. The book identifies three kinds of value that must be balanced against each other: a theory of the kind of educational outcomes schools should aim at; a theory of how educational opportunities should be distributed; and independent values that should be considered when they conflict with the first two kinds of value. The evidence that decision-makers should seek out and consider is that which bears on how these values will be realized through the choices they make, and the book articulates a distinctive method for thinking about the evidence in the light of the values. The method is illustrated through consideration of 3 central policy issues: school financing, school accountability systems, and school choice mechanisms.