Educational Goods: Values, Evidence and Decision-Making

Susanna Loeb
Harry Brighouse
Event speaker

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

Monday, April 22, 2019 - 05:30pm–07:00pm
Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street

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.