An analysis of market reform trends in Saskatchewan public education
From the 1970s onward, Western market democracies, particularly those that are English speaking and subscribe to the general tenets associated with Anglo-Saxon capitalism, have been restructuring Keynesian (post-war) era education systems through an incremental adoption of focused market reforms based on four central foci: choice, decentralization, centralization, and accountability (Altman, 2009; Ball, 1998; Kachur & Harrison, 1999; Klees, 2008; Tomlinson, 2005; Whitty, Power, &Halpin, 1998). Arguably, these changes have developed in response to ideological, political, and economic global phenomena that led to a policymaking convergence between nations (Kachur, 1999a; Klees, 2008; Tomlinson, 2005). The purpose of this historiographic analysis was to determine whether or not, or to what extent, trends occurring in comparable education and state systems elsewhere have likewise affected policy directions in Saskatchewan. Theoretically, since these trends constitute a deductive rule, it was initially reasoned by this author that evidence for market reform in Saskatchewan public education policy should exist—and a selected sample of key policy documents from stakeholder groups served as the arena of investigation. The underlying goal of this analysis was to increase awareness and discourse among public education stakeholders with regard to the implications of market reforms. The rational and critical analysis of the data provided by stakeholder groups suggested that evidence of market reform existed in Saskatchewan at the time of the study. The author inferred that quasi-market development was occurring and that at some future stage variations of the implications described in this study may affect the Saskatchewan public education system.
choice, market reform, accountability, neo-liberalism, Saskatchewan public education, Keynes, centralization, decentralization
Master of Education (M.Ed.)