A fair educational standard

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In this article, I propose and defend a certain model of a fair Educational Standard, where this represents the minimally adequate threshold conditions and resources that any just society will devote to the grade school education of its youth. Starting with suggestions made by Harry Frankfurt, I argue that this Standard may be initially founded upon the norm of ‘sufficiency‘, so that the Standard comes to require the provision of whatever educational resources are needed to enable children to lead minimally decent lives as adults. Largely because of the social inequities that it would allow, however, I argue that this norm of sufficiency is not enough, by itself, to constitute the Educational Standard, but that the norm of ‘equal educational opportunity’ (EEO) must also be incorporated. And I defend a certain conception of EEO, from among various competing conceptions. Ultimately, then, this article seeks to establish these twin components (a set of sufficiency conditions and a certain conception of EEO) as being individually necessary and jointly sufficient for any truly just and complete educational standard. © 2005, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

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