The Burdens of Marketized Schooling in Australia
This chapter shows the way in which the symbolic and social burden of marketization is borne by the schools situated at its margins—exclude from its benefits, but condemned to conform to its principles and values. It addresses a number of ways in which this burden is manifest in the enrollment strategies of secondary schools in socially disadvantaged and ethnically diverse Melbourne suburbs. Critical school choice research often seeks to make a binary distinction between inclusion in choice processes and options, and total exclusion. The contrast of rhetorical claims to democratization through choice and the realities of exclusion provides a powerful angle for critique. The Australian State of Victoria was one of the pioneers of devolution of managerial and budgetary responsibility to schools in the early 1990s. The attempts by Bauxfield College to succeed under the pressures of marketization and residualization represent an extreme case of what was reported at similar schools in the study.