Contested Ideals: Understanding Moral Disagreements over Education Policy

Publisher: Journal of Social Philosophy, 35 (4)
Page Numbers: 471-482

This paper examines the moral and political roots of education policy disagreements. The author argues that understanding the nature of moral disagreement enriches the discussion of specific policy controversies that have implications for the ethical treatment of students. In order to clarify the terms of the moral disagreement over affirmative action, the author examines how the broad political theories of justice that dominate the debate — libertarian political theory and liberal egalitarian political theory — interpret the moral ideals of equality and liberty. The author also examines the relationship between moral disagreement and education policy, paying close attention to why understanding and addressing moral disagreement over education policy is important.