My book, ‘Learning Matters
’ addresses this question in relation to the English education system.
Further evidence for the negative effects of the imposition of a free market, competition based framework on a national education system has now emerged in Sweden. The latest admission of such failure in described in this Guardian article
of 10 June 2015.
There now seems little doubt that the decline in standards correlates with the free market based changes made to the Swedish education system. What is missing is a mechanism and associated evidence of causation. ‘Learning Matters’ provides such evidence in the context of the changes to the English education system that are being driven by the same ideology. Nowhere else is this argument being made in relation to published research evidence. The theme is developed throughout the book, which needs to be read to fully understand the argument. However the kernel of it is in Section 5.11, which is reproduced in full on my website here
My hypothesis, an invitation for others to argue about, is that degraded and corrupted curriculum involving the large scale abandonment of pupil practical activity in science lessons and the increased substitution of crude behaviourism for developmentalism as the ruling pedagogy in English schools, combined with successive perverse outcomes arising from the operation of the imposed market are combining to produce an ever tightening spiral of real educational decline that continues to manifest itself in new and often surprising ways.
The Swedish experience of the neo-liberal experiment in national education policy adds to the evidence base. In Sweden the national government at least appears to be recognising the mistake. Not so here in the UK or in the US where evidence of failure is more likely to be interpreted as being the result of policies not being applied with sufficient rigour.
Hence the intention of the new Conservative government in the UK to create a thousand more privatised Academy schools and new Free Schools, all supported by the state. Growing opposition by parents, school governors and local councils is to be overcome by passing draconian new laws.
See this post