Educational policy analysis archives

Educational policy analysis archives

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Educational policy analysis archives
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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 10, no. 47 (October 26, 2002).
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Overview of private education development in modern China / Zeyu Xu.
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University of South Florida.
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t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
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1 of 25 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 10 Number 47October 26, 2002ISSN 1068-2341 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass College of Education Arizona State University Copyright 2002, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES .Permission is hereby granted to copy any article if EPAA is credited and copies are not sold. EPAA is a project of the Education Policy Studies Laboratory. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education .An Overview of Private Education Development in Modern China Zeyu Xu Teachers College Columbia UniversityCitation: Xu, Z. (2002, October 26). An overview of private education development in modern China, Education Policy Analysis Archives 10 (47). Retrieved [date] from is not surprising that private education is gain ing importance in China given the overall context of huge national efforts toward building up a “socialist market economy.” However, the fast growt h rate in both the quantities and the qualities of profitable private schools in a socialist society is beyond what people usually expect. This paper looked into the modern history of private education in China and fo und that such a huge resurgence of private education is rooted in the he ritage of private education in the Chinese society. Private schools w ere the precursor of modern Chinese education. They played an important role in the country


2 of 25for most of the time. When the government policy be came more flexible and household income increased substantially, such a heritage revived and becomes a stimulating factor in the education s ector.1. IntroductionThe huge population base of China creates the large st education industry in the world. 1999 figure shows a student body of 320 million, ac counting for about 30% of world’s student population (Qu, 2001). Limited financial re sources severely restricted educational development in China. With lower-than-average natio nal effort and fiscal effort measures (Tsang, 2000b), the number of junior high school cl asses that accommodate more than 66 students has increased from 61,000 in 1993 to the r ecent 132,000 (Jiang, 2001), the higher education gross enrollment ratio (for age 18—22) wa s only 10.5% in 1999, and only 1% of labor force has received 4-year and above tertia ry training (Qu, 2001). In order to realize the developmental goal of 2010 (Note 1) the Chinese government launched a reform of the structure, administration and financi ng of education in 1985, decentralizing and diversifying the providing and financing of edu cation (Tsang, 1993). Non-governmental schools revived after the 1985 pol icy in respond to both the excess and differentiated demand.This is not the first time in history that China ha s a private education system. With rapid growth in the previous two decades, a lot of proble ms emerge on such topics as legal status of private schools, their legislation, owner ship and quality. Review of available literature shows policy makers are more concerned w ith the commercial potentials of private schools than educational quality and effect iveness. The retrospection of contemporary private education tells people there a re goals other than business profit in educational development, and that education is abou t devotion, truth and innovation. This paper records the contemporary private school histo ry in two parts: pre-1949 era and post-1949 era.2. Pre-1949 eraThough the tradition of private education dates bac k to thousands of years ago with Confucius, and for a long period it was the dominan t form of education, the modern private school system (or “new school system”) did not appear till around the 1840. 1840 is the year that is usually used in Chinese hi story books as the beginning of the contemporary period, when China was defeated in the Opium War and began its journey of being colonized by western powers. Before this, China had been such a self-contained nation that it was reluctant to open to the world. Opium War was the first attempt to force open the door to China. Yet even such a shameful an d additive commodity yielded to the strong resistance of Chinese people. War became the final choice. The door was open. Through a series of humiliating defeats after 1840, the blind arrogance of the Chinese was shattered, and they be gan to accept, with great agony, the backwardness in their national development level. V arious endeavors were made to save the nation. Education modernization is among the mo st important attempts. In this education reform movement, private educatio n played a crucial, if not the dominant role. Not only did private, modern schools appear e arlier than governmental schools, but


3 of 25also that they were generally of better quality at the higher education level. Schools in this period can be divided into four types: Government-o wned schools, mission schools, schools run by Chinese and sishu The latter three types are private schools. Howev er, the last one, sishu (which, translated literally, means private school ), does not belong to the modern school type. Yet it persisted in modern Chin a till the early 1950s (Deng, 1997). The development of modern school system can be summ arized in the simplified diagram below. 2.1 Mission schoolsThe earliest modern private schools were founded by missionaries. Its development in China can be divided into three periods: 1840—1904, 1904—1925, and 1925—1949. The starting period (1840—1904) As the starting of a series of “unequal treaties” between the Qing government and the Western powers, “Nanjin Treaty” (1840) knocked open the door of China by setting up “trading ports” in East ern China and helping the Church obtain legitimate status to spread Christian Gospel in those cities. Previous experience had shown that with the deeply entrenched Confucius tra dition, Chinese were resistant to Christian beliefs. The spread of the Western religi on had proven to be unsuccessful. For example, it took the American Methodist mission in Guangzhou ten years to make the first Chinese convert (Deng, 1997). To attract more conve rsions, missionaries tried to set up hospitals, schools and printing agencies so as to w in the support of the Chinese people. Among these agencies, schools did more than just he lping people and winning their hearts: They also passed on Christian beliefs direc tly. With the subsequent “unequal treaties” (Wangxia Treaty in 1844, Huangpu Treaty i n 1844, Tianjin Treaty in 1858, etc.), Western powers further obtained the rights to sprea d Christian Gospel in the interior areas of China. Religion in company with mission schools penetrated into central China. Mission schools in this period had several common c haracteristics. First, their scale was quite small. For example, the first missionary scho ol set up in Macao (1839) admitted only 6 children for the first year. Second, the establis hment and administration of these schools were not systematically supported by the missionary organizations in their home countries, as was the case in the later periods. Schools in th is period usually did not have any administrative staff. Decisions on curricula and te acher recruiting were left to one or several missionaries. Third, not unexpectedly, with limited capability of the personnel and funding, schools in this period were mainly primary and secondary schools. Fourth, mission schools were still not completely accepted and identified with by society, both on the intelligentsia level and the grassroots’ level. Due to the long isolation of China from the rest of the world, foreigners were looked as ba rbarians by many people. This severely restricted the development of mission schools. Fift h, this negative perception toward foreigners/mission schools reduced their appeal to students. As early schools provided free


4 of 25accommodation and food for the student, poor and ho meless children attended the schools run by “barbarians” only to remain alive. This is a sharp contrast with the situation in latter periods of development. Finally, the curricu la mainly included the Christian Gospel and a small amount of rudimentary knowledge of read ing and calculating. The number of missionary schools in this period was quite small. For example, Deng (1997) reported that the First General Conference o f Protestant Missionaries in 1877 reported only twenty Protestant mission schools wit h 231 students. Among these schools include Chongxin yishu (1844), Menyang School (1864 ), Wenhua School (1872), Fanwandu English Language School (1879) and Huiwen School (1889). 1904—1925 Modern governmental schools did not appear till 1 862, when Jinshi Tongwen Academy was established. After a series of defeats in the battlefield, some Qing officials realized the importance of technology and foreign language. The government split into two groups in the late 19th century. One group strongly supported the learning of Western technologies and military strategies. The o ther advocated political and educational reform within the old government system Both groups belonged to the feudalistic government, hoping to save the nation w ithout overthrowing the feudalistic system (Chen, 1982). As a result, in the field of e ducation, three types of new schools appeared: military schools, language schools and te chnology schools. They were modeled mainly after the early mission schools.On the other hand, outside the government, one of t he largest farmers revolts, “Peaceful Paradise” ( taiping tianguo ), lasted for decades and controlled in half of the provinces across the country. This movement started under the name of God and claimed to be a religious movement. Later, this movement was quench ed by the Qing government with some help from foreign military forces.Western influence had penetrated China both within the government and without by the latter half of the 19th century. This created a nou rishing environment for mission schools to expand rapidly (Deng, 1997). The expediting expa nsion coincided with other issues that caused great social change. The first was the Boxer Rebellion. This was organized by farmers in 1900. It fought directly against the Wes tern powers, including the evangelistic activities performed by missionaries. This movement stunned the Western nations with such gravity that they began to realize the importa nce of controlling a people by influencing its mind first. Education became viewed as one of the most efficient ways of affecting people’s minds and gained strong support from the Western nations. Through education, missionaries attempted to win support fr om the intelligentsia in the hope of making them the future leaders of China, and vehicl es for control of the country. Compared with the schools in the previous period, m issionary schools were supported by various religious organizations and foundations, in cluding the Rockefeller Foundation. Another issue that changed the developmental contex t for missionary schools (and other forms of private education as well) was the impleme ntation of the “ Guimao Education System” in 1904. Many reformists became active in p olitics around 1900. Some of them saw the annihilation of the old education and exami nation system and the establishment of a modern school system as the only way out of the d ire condition of the nation. These reformists made several attempts to improve the nat ion within the framework of existing government. The most famous attempt was the Wuxu Legislature Reform (“ Wuxu ” refers to the year of 1898 as expressed in the traditional Chinese calendar). Among the reform


5 of 25package, attempts were made to change the education al system. For example, it set up “Jinshi Daxuetang”, which is the embryo of today’s Peking University. The reform also suggested abandoning the traditional examination sy stem, adding political and economic studies into the curriculum, and setting up profess ional schools in the field of law, finance and diplomacy. The reform is famous for its transie nce: It remained effective for only around 100 days. Almost all the contents of that re form were abandoned. Nevertheless, the Qing government preserved “Jinshi Daxuetang”.Although the “Wuxu Legislature Reform” was aborted, the reformist ideas began to spread in society. In 1903, the Qing government pro claimed the new Royal Regulations for Schooling ( Zouding Xuetang Zhangcheng ). In this regulation, a new school system was designed and the local government on all levels was required to establish new schools according to the regulation. Institutions were set up to make sure students got the compulsory education, and governors were requested to assist the proliferation of such education (Deng, 1997). Shortly after the proclamat ion of this new regulation, a ministry of education was established, and the old examinati on system ( keju which required the writing of an essay, often on politics or morality in the form of an “eight-legged” essay (Note 2) ) was finally abolished. With this great ambition t o completely rebuild the national education system, together with the dearth of governmental funding for public education, private education, including both missio n schools and private schools run by Chinese, faced excellent possibilities for growth.Missionary education in this period featured a rapi d expansion in terms of the number of schools. According to Deng’s (1997) description: In 1899 there were 1,296 Protestant missions in the Celestial Empire. By 1914, the number had more than quadrupled. By 1906, there were over 2,000 elementary schools and 400 middle schools run by We stern missions. On the eve of the Republican Revolution of 1911, Western m issionaries operated 3,145 schools in the country. Protestant mission sc hools enrolled 138,937 students in 1912. Catholic and Orthodox mission sch ools had a student body of 50,000 to 100,000. In Southern Manchuria, the Ja panese ran 28 schools with a total enrollment of 5,551 students (Deng, 19 97:32) In addition to the development in numbers, mission schools scored rapid growth in higher education. Many new colleges and universities were established. Even some secondary mission schools were upgraded or merged into colleg es. Examples include Jinlin University of Nanjing (1911), Jinlin College of Wom en (1915), Wuchang University (1910), Shangdong Christian College (1902), and Qil u University (1915). Most of the top-tier universities in China today were establish ed in this period by missionary organizations. The most outstanding examples are Xi ehe (Concord) Medical School and Tsinghua University (Hu, 1994), the former being th e best medical school and the latter one of the best comprehensive universities in China today. There were several trends that characterize educati on development in this period. First, out of the necessity of identifying themselves with the Chinese elitist class and becoming integrated into the largely secular society of Chin a, missionary organizations gradually shifted their emphasis from religious dissemination to knowledge education. Mission schools gradually became general educational instit utions. As a result, missionary organizations made great efforts to improve their a cademic quality at the same time as they expanded the quantity of schools. These organi zations attracted well-trained teachers


6 of 25with high salaries, extended the length of academic programs and improved the curriculum design. Second, with more emphasis on ge neral education, vocational and professional trainings were also gaining ground. Fo r example, Saint John University established its own medical department in 1896, whi le the Concord Medical School of North China was founded in 1905 under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation. Nursing and dental training were also offered in th ese medical schools. Third, the student body of mission schools changed. Focusing more on e ducation itself than on religion, schools implemented entrance examinations to ensure student quality (Hu, 1994). As mentioned before, the student body in the first pha se of development was mainly composed of children from poor and religious famili es. In this period, however, the weakening emphasis on religion, the stricter admiss ion control and better facilities attracted students from the rich and intellectual f amilies. Starting about 1910, it became increasingly fashionable for affluent Chinese famil ies to send their children to mission schools (Deng, 1997).With the above changes in mission education, the so urce of funding for mission schools also changed, the fourth characteristic of this per iod. There were two principal sources of funding. The most important one was the support fro m the mission organizations and foundations from the Western countries. What makes this source different from the previous period is “mission societies began to brea k sectarian boundaries to pool their resources together in setting up and running Christ ian colleges” (Deng, 1997, p.33). For example, the above-mentioned Qilu University was jo intly supported by the American Presbyterian and the English Baptist missions (Deng 1997). The second source of funding was tuition. This was new to mission education in C hina. In the first phase, mission schools had to offer free accommodation, free educa tion and free traveling to attract students. With more affluent students joining the m ission schools and the increasing popularity, mission schools in this phase began to charge tuition and gradually became a luxury for rich families. As a result, tuition acco unted for a significant proportion of mission school financial resources. During the 20s and 30s, one third to one half of the funding came from tuition in some large-scale unive rsities in Eastern China (Hu, 1994). From 1904 to 1925, China transformed from a feudali stic society to a Nationalist state. After the revolution in 1911 that overthrew the Qin g Dynasty, China went through rapid economic growth. Deng (1994, p.39) reported an annu al industrial growth rate of 13.4 percent between 1912 and 1920.The emerging new soci ety generated a great national demand for education. With the government encouragi ng private contributions and investment in education, private schools, including mission schools, achieved a rapid, and sometimes rampant growth. During this period, weste rn mission schools were not required to register with the Chinese government. Exemption of registration means the Chinese government had no control over those schools. Missi on schools were registered within their native countries. A trustee board was usually set up in the native country to control all the administrative, financial and personnel iss ues (Hu, 1994). This last characteristic of the second phase, together with other social and in ternational environment change, led to a new stage of mission school development in China.1925—1949 The end of the First World War in the previous ph ase inspired the national awareness of independence. It aroused the nationali sm in two ways. First, the War attracted the attention and energy of Western power s to the European theatres. This left a precious chance for the national industries of Chin a to develop and compete with foreign enterprises. As a result, China achieved rapid econ omic growth during the period. Second,


7 of 25although China did not gain benefits from the treat y following the war, it was listed as one of the “winning” nations. This helped its people re gain some confidence and pride in their own country. With the establishment of a nationalis t country in 1925, this nationalism was further strengthened. Chinese intellectuals began t heir quest for a new national identity. Under the influences from other countries, many pra ctices were borrowed and adapted to the special context of Chinese society. Some people held a strong faith in democracy and science, while others sought national salvation thr ough Marxism and Leninism, which had scored successes in the experiment in Russia. Stude nts returning from overseas brought back new ideas with them. Tao Xingzhi and Jiang Men glin, two educators who had graduated from Teachers College, Columbia Universit y, were among the most prominent examples who sought national identity through educa tion experiments. In such a context, mission education was facing ser ious and widespread criticism. It was considered by young intellectuals as a denationaliz ing force and an imperialistic and colonizing agency of western powers. Mission educat ion was also regarded as a religious propaganda agent. In October 1924, all these “evil effects” of mission education were formally included in Resolution VII of the National Federation of Provincial Educational Associations Annual Meeting. The resolution also re commended that mission schools: should register with the government; be supervised by local committees; require their teachers to possess teaching qualifications; set tu ition no higher than other private schools in the same district or province; and should cease propagating religion (see Chinese Christian Education, 1925). The 1925 Chinese Christ ian Education Conference in New York also reported that In spite of the fact that both government and priva te schools have been crippled for finances, and that the whole country h as been unsettled, …[there is] growing sense of confidence on the part of the Chinese educators with reference to their ability to develop a sound educa tional system for their country. (1925, p. 14) The May 30 Massacre in 1925, starting with the kill ing of one Chinese worker in a British textile plant in Shanghai, ignited an anti-imperial ism protest that swept across the nation. Mission schools, mainly colleges, experienced their most difficult time in China. In the following year, registration began to be officially required for mission schools. It was also ruled that the presidents and administrative staff should be Chinese. Religious classes and practice were changed into elective activities and mission schools could not force any student to participate.In such a stringent environment, mission schools be came localized, secularized and more academically oriented. Chinese teachers were employ ed, and many western administrative staffs were replaced by Chinese intellectuals. Clas ses began to be taught in Chinese. And with more emphasis placed on academic quality, some mission colleges later boasted the strongest and best research in some majors like Chi nese language and culture. According to Deng (1997), Tatsuro & Sumiko Yamamoto (1953) reported that three thousand missionaries had left China by the end of 1927. While mission higher education was undergoing personnel shifts and re-design, Chri stian elementary and secondary schools also decreased in numbers. In fact, the sit uation of mission education continued to deteriorate after Guo Ming Dang (Nationalist Party) ended the ruthless battles between warlords and unified the nation in 1928. As a rulin g party, Guo Ming Dang tried to justify its governance through its control over education. Similar to today’s practice of the


8 of 25Communist Party, party representatives were dispatc hed to all schools, including mission schools. In 1933, Western missions were forbidden t o run elementary schools for Chinese children (Deng, 1997).After the invasion of Japanese troops first in 1931 and later intensified in 1937, the entire education system in China experienced huge losses. Most of the schools retreated to the inland areas. Mission schools also suffered from th e chaotic situation. Starting from the late 30s, the government began to offer small amoun ts of financial support to private schools, including mission schools (Hu, 1994). This support did not come free. Governmental support changed some private schools i nto public ones. Shortly after the end of WW II in 1945, the civil war broke out, leav ing private schools no time for recovery. Since then, the fate of mission schools, as well as other private schools, has been decided when the Communist Party took over the gove rnment in 1949. By the mid 1950s, all private schools have been transformed into publ ic ones. Comments on Mission Schools in the Contemporary His tory of China Mission schools have been regarded as one of the great manifestatio ns of Western colonization of China. Bringing with them brand new and often contradictor y ideologies, mission schools clashed with the traditional culture dominated by Confucian ethics. Chinese society was forced to accept Western influence with agony and humiliation At the same time, Western institutions helped Chinese people to see more choi ces and alternatives in every aspect of social life.Mission schools invaded Chinese culture in a more i nsidious fashion than physical invasion. Missionaries and Chinese people interacte d with each other. Mission education was gradually but never completely accepted by the intellectual society. The development of mission education in China can either be describ ed as a cultural communication, or a cultural invasion since there was no equality betwe en the two sides. However, mission schools did make contributions to modernizing the d ilapidating education system in China at that time. “New schools” as advocated by many re formists were actually modeled on early mission schools. Mission schools were also th e first to offer women’s education in modern China. The first girl’s school in China was established in 1844 by Aldersey, a British missionary (Hu, 1994). Mission schools star ted the first nurses’ training program in China. They also boasted some of the best univer sities and research areas in contemporary China. As we noted earlier, several of the best universities today like Tsinghua University and Tongji University started a s mission colleges. 2.2 Schools Run by Chinese EducatorsPrivate schools run by Chinese educators started la ter than mission schools. In the beginning, Chinese private schools were modeled aft er mission schools in order to pass on “Western studies” to new intellectuals and invigora te the nation with new knowledge. There are different understandings on the meaning o f “Western studies”. At first, Chinese government felt the agony of its underdeveloped tec hnology and machinery production. “Western studies” at this stage meant the learning of western machine production. Fujian Warship School and Shanghai Production Bureau were the two most important experiments in the hope of applying western technol ogies to industrial production. Later, Chinese intelligentsia came to realize that machine ry alone could not save the nation. China had become weak mainly because of its malfunc tioning political system. Western studies in this period meant the learning of wester n political systems. Finally, advocates of


9 of 25“Western studies” went further and asserted the def iciency of Chinese culture. They believed that within the context of old feudalistic culture, it was impossible to implement any real reforms. The failure of Wu Xu Legislature Reform proved that the new nationalistic political system could not possibly s urvive in the soil of old cultures. (Qiu, 1997). Through the development of understanding abo ut Western studies, one constant theme was that education was consistently regarded as the most important way to rejuvenate the dilapidating nation. Both the govern ment and individual citizens sponsored experiments to set up new schools. In 1862, Peking Tongwen Academy was founded by Yi Xin, the brother of the king. This was the first new style school in the history of China. This government school started as the language inst itute and later expanded with astrology and mathematics studies in 1867.The prevalent thinking of education as omnipotent ( Cai, 1984) combined with dissatisfaction with traditional learning instituti ons (Qiu, 1997), motivated great energy among open-minded gentries, merchants and returning overseas students to set up new private schools. Although some Chinese intellectual s began the experiment as early as 1878, this trend did not become obvious till 1904, when Guimao Education System brought fundamental and systematic changes to tradi tional education structure. Therefore, 1904 can be viewed as the launch of modern private schools run by Chinese educators. Their development can be divided into four periods: from 1904 to 1911, from 1912 to 1927, from 1928 to 1936, and from 1937 to 1949. The division of stages roughly corresponds to that of mission schools.1904—1911 Zhang Huanglun founded Zhengmeng Academy in 1878, which is the earliest modern private schools run by Chinese educ ators. However, as mentioned earlier, this type of school did not achieve much developmen t before 1904. The dissemination of evolutionary ( gailiang as opposed to more radical idea of social revolut ion) thinking since 1898 and the Wuxu Legislature Reform illumina ted Chinese people’s long shackled mind. More people were demanding education at the s ame time when more intellectuals were willing to provide education. Private schools began to gain in number. The growth in private education as well as the reformist atmosphe re encouraged the Qing government to announce the first modern education system regulati ons in 1904. The implementation of this system, in turn, created a supportive environm ent for the new private schools to develop. The new regulations required local governm ents to found new schools in accordance with the 1904 law. An education ministry (Xue Bu) was established and the “eight-legged” essay examination was abolished shor tly afterwards in 1905. Being aware of the shortage of financial resources and qualifie d teachers, the government encouraged individuals, most of them were old-fashioned intell ectuals, to open schools to fill in the gap between what had been planned and the reality. The old gentry class responded to this appeal from the government passionately, considerin g themselves the backbone and leading class that should take the responsibility t o educate its people. In this period, most of the private schools were pr imary schools. Most of them were concentrated in the coastal area, and they were lab eled as “Chinese-Western studies academies” or “English schools” (Zhang, 1994). Alth ough these schools attempted to imitate mission schools, most of them did not have any real breakthroughs and were still within the traditional school framework. In order t o complete the new education system efficiently, learning promotion organizations were opened in every county to supervise the operation of new schools, both governmental and pri vate. Although mission education began to focus more on h igher education in this period, only


10 of 25a small number of secondary and tertiary schools we re founded by Chinese educators. The Public University of China (1904) and Fudan Univers ity (1905) were the most important private universities founded by Chinese educators a t this point. Nankai School, founded in 1907 by Chang Bolin, was the most famous secondary school at the time. According to Lin (1999), in 1906, there were 59 pri vate secondary and primary schools, with a teaching staff of 606 and a student body of 3,855. However, private schools founded by Chinese educators suffered from an extre me shortage of funding. For example, the Public University of China, founded by returnin g students from Japan, had to rent dilapidated buildings as their classrooms. Many of the staffs were working voluntarily without salary. In an extreme case, in order to rai se funds, Yao Honglie, one of the university administrators, committed suicide in the hope that “government administrators could use their political power, rich people could use their economic power, and intellectuals could use their knowledge to support the Public University of China together” (Hu, 1994).1912—1927 With the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty, the Feuda lism that had lasted for several thousand years came to an end. Various powe rs and influences began to compete in all fields of social life. In politics, starting from 1917, a 10-year war broke out between warlords across the nation before Guo Min Dang unif ied the country in 1928. In the field of ideas, republic thinking, democracy, communism a nd even Feudalist remnants were in conflict with each other, attempting to fill the va cuum left by the annihilation of Feudalism. The beginning of the Republican era crea ted a relatively active and liberal environment for education. With the promotion of re forms by the new government, education developed quickly. The number of schools nationwide increased from 87,282 in 1912 to 129,739 in 1915, and the number of students increased by around 50% accordingly (Qiu, 1997).The active involvement of government in education d evelopment provided a strong support to the public education system. But at the same time, it also attempted to control private school ideology to corroborate its ruling p osition. The grip over education, fortunately, was not so strict as it might have bee n because of divisions created by the war between warlords that followed the founding of the Republican nation. Fighting for power reduced resources for education. Education fund was often appropriated for military use. Public schools were severely impacted by the war. B y contrast, private schools, which did not rely on governmental funding, kept developing i n a more stable fashion. In addition, because of the accumulating tension in Europe and l ater the First World War, the Western control over China was loosening. National industri es in China thus got a precious chance to expand. The developing economy provided a strong source for educational investment. The first period of the National era (before 1922) saw a rapid growth in private higher education and professional schools of political sci ence. “Regulations on Public and Private Vocational Colleges” and “Regulations on Pr ivate Higher Education” permitted individuals to open all kinds of new schools except for teacher training schools. The private universities outnumbered public universitie s in this period. Out of these private universities, 75% were vocational colleges, with mo st of them concentrating on political science (Hu, 1994). This reveals the passion for la w and politics in the 1910s and 1920s. In contrast, primary and secondary education achiev ed greater success in the public sector. In 1912, there were only 54 private middle schools, accounting for 14.5 percent of the total number of middle schools in that year, and 12 .8 percent of the total middle school population (Hu, 1994).


11 of 25A new education system was implemented in 1922. In the new system, requirements for setting up universities became less strict. The 4-y ear middle schools were changed into 6-year schools and were divided into junior high sc hools and senior high schools, and they could be founded separately. As a result of these c hanges, the number of public universities exceeded that of private ones for the first time in 1922, with 10 public and 9 private. In 1927, 34 universities were public and 1 8 private. Many political science colleges were shut down as a result of their poor q uality. In the secondary and primary education sector, however, a large number of junior high schools were established by individuals and the number of private middle school s reached 283 in 1925, or 41.2 percent of the total number of middle schools of that year, enrolling about 40 percent of the whole middle school student population (Hu, 1994).1928—1936 With the end of the chaotic struggling for power between warlords, the Guo Min Dang government unified the nation and created an uninterrupted period of stable social development from 1928 to 1936. The new gover nment established a healthy and regulated education system. As early as 1927, the g overnment announced its education policy based on the “Three People Principle”, expec ting education to facilitate the creation and maintenance of national independence, the human rights equality, and the improvement of living conditions. Following the ann ouncement of this policy, a series of regulations were announced. In December 1927, the g overnment promulgated the “Regulations on the Registration of Private Univers ities and Professional Schools” to improve the quality of private higher education. To regularize the administration of private higher education, “Regulations on Private U niversities” and “Regulations on the Private University Board Operation” were implemente d in February of the next year. In 1929, “University Organizational Laws” and “Profess ional School Organizational Regulations” were announced to clarify such details as the minimum investment for starting a college, minimum operation investment an d curricula (Hu, 1994). Besides the resolution of the government, other soc ial factors also contributed to the relatively supportive environment for education. Wi th less social turmoil, national industry achieved an annual growth rate of 8.7 perc ent between 1923 and 1936 (Deng, 1997). The development of national economy resulted in greater resource availability for educational investment. At the same time, it also c reated a greater demand for skilled and educated labor. In addition, the prospering economy boosted the confidence and pride of the Chinese people. Educators started to seek new n ational identity by setting up new schools modeled after their own ideals of future Ch ina. For example, Cai Yuanpei, the most influential president of Peking University, ad vocated aesthetic education vehemently. He believed that aesthetics not only co uld substitute for religion, but was even better than religion in that “aesthetics is li beral, while religion is compelled; aesthetics is progressive while religion is conserv ative; aesthetic is popular while religion has boundaries” (Cai, 1984, pp. 501-2). With such a n ideal, 3-year-old children were sent to the kindergarten to learn music, painting and li terature, museums of arts were set up, theatres were built, professional arts schools were founded, and even pregnant women were sent to national infant education institutions that were set up in peaceful setting with fresh air (Qiu, 1997).Hu Shi and Cai Yuanpei also insisted on the indepen dence of education. In his essay “On Independent Education”, Cai pointed out that: Education should develop individualism and commonal ity equally. What


12 of 25political parties attempt to do is to create a spec ial kind of commonality and wipe out individualism. For example, they would enc ourage their people to love some nations, while hating the others; or try to use the culture of one ethnic group to absorb and dominate the culture of another group. This is the common practice of today’s party. It is extremely h armful if this practice was intertwined with education. What education aims at is the effect in the future, while political policy seeks instant change. … the effect of education will not appear instantly. However, parties cannot hold thei r ruling position for long. Government changes within several years. If educati on is under the charge of parties, then when the government changes, educatio n policy will change accordingly. No education effect can be achieved in this way. Therefore, education must be independent from political partie s (Cai, 1984, p. 117). As mentioned above, the government in this period ( as well as in all the other periods), attempted to control the education system. For exam ple, In October 1925, the Beijing government ordered private colleges all over the co untry to shut down. This is an event that has not been explained to this day (Deng, 1997 ). The belief in educational independence was a counter force that protected and promoted the stable development of private education in the period. During the years o f continuous wars and constantly shifting of powers, the appeal for education indepe ndence helped education survive. Another educator who significantly contributed to p rivate education in China is Tao Xingzhi, also a Teachers College graduate and a dis ciple of Dewey. Combining pragmatism with the social conditions of China, he initiated village education, popular education, vocational education, wartime education and comprehensive education movements. He applied his ideals to practice and fo unded more than half a dozen schools. Xiaozhuang School, founded in 1927, was a village t eacher training school, the first of its kind in contemporary educational history of China. With the belief that village teachers are the soul of countryside reform, Tao made his fi rst experiment in the suburban area of Nanjing. Xiaozhuang School consisted of two parts: primary school teacher training and kindergarten teacher training. Guided by such princ iples as “life is education, and society is the school” and “integration of teaching, learni ng and practicing”, the school achieved great success quickly. Tao was invited by other reg ions to found similar teacher training schools in 1928 and 1929 (Wang, 1982). His educatio n ideas are still highly respected by the Chinese government today.At the beginning of the 1930s, with the purpose tha t science should be popularized among common citizens, Tao founded a children’s correspon dence school in Shanghai (1932). In the October of the same year, he founded Private Sh anhai Experimental School in Shanghai, which was a vocational school that combin ed general knowledge with skill training. In the next period of education developme nt (1937—1949) when the Sino-Japanese war broke out, Tao was concerned with the education in the battle field and founded Life Education Association and children’s s chool for the refugees. In 1939, Yucai School was established in Chongqing, the wartime ca pital. This school was an experiment to apply Tao’s ideal of comprehensive education. Th e school included six groups: music, drama, painting, literature, social studies and nat ural science studies. The school was so successful that its name is still used by many high schools in different cities across the country.With effort from the government as well as individu al educators, private education scored impressive developments in this period. The percent age of private colleges increased from


13 of 2527.6 percent in 1925 to 49.1 in 1936. Corresponding ly, private colleges enrolled 49.3% of all the college students in 1936, as compared with 35% in 1925 (Hu, 1994). Primary and secondary private education also developed on simil ar scales. In 1936, private primary schools and secondary schools accounted for 24.8% a nd 36.7% of the nationwide number of primary and secondary schools respectively. Most of the private schools concentrated along the costal areas and major cities.1937—1949 War began in this period. Like mission schools, p rivate schools run by Chinese educators also suffered severe damage and r egular education could not be maintained. Many schools were demolished by bombing The famous Nankai University was raided by Japanese invaders in 1937, the first year of war. Half of the private middle schools closed between 1937 and 1939 (Hu, 1994). Ap art from the damage of school facilities, teachers and students were turned into refugees, creating an immeasurable loss to education. Public education suffered from the wa r as well. However, the government transferred some schools out of the occupied areas and was able to save some regular educational institutions. By contrast, privately in vested schools did not have the ability to migrate to the inner lands.Around the end of Sino-Japanese war in 1945, the go vernment began to offer some support to private schools. Yet in return, many sch ools were changed from private to public. Examples included Nankai University and Fud an University, two of the earliest private higher education institutions. Not only the number of private schools decrease, but also their quality deteriorated with some of the hi gher quality schools becoming public. Although private education gained some respite afte r WWII, the civil war that followed between Guo Ming Dang and the Communist Party under mined the ability of private schools to survive.3. Post 1949 eraThe shifting focus of national development in China after 1949 reveals the struggling for control between two fractions inside the Chinese Co mmunist Party: the radicals (as represented by Mao Zedong) and the moderates (as re presented by Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping) (Tsang, 2000a). The radicals put emphasis on ideological struggle, while the moderates focus on economic and material improvemen t. The overall policy changing decides the shifts in education policy (Tsang, 2000 a). Although education development in the post 1949 era can be divided into more periods (Tsang, 2000a), for the purpose of analyzing private education, two major stages are s uffice to see the change: from 1949-76, when private education was first severely suppresse d and then totally eradicated; and from 1976 to the present, when private education revived and is still gaining importance in the overall education system.3.1 1949—1976. The Termination of Private EducationAfter the founding of the People’s Republic of Chin a, all of the private sectors of social life were transformed into public sectors. This is consistent with the nature of the Chinese Communist Party as a communist party. Equality was regarded as the most important principle, and individual goals were suppressed by collective goals. Private industries and schools were regarded as the manifestation of Weste rn capitalism, which was in the direct opposition to communism. Within such a radical ideo logical framework, schools began to be folded into the public sector in 1951. Mission s chools were also among those on the


14 of 25conversion list. Furen University was the first mis sion university that was transformed. It became part of Beijing Normal University, bringing with it a great collection of precious books. By the end of 1952, private education had ev aporated in China. Private education did not reemerge until 1978. Betw een 1952 and 1978, there was only one type of school that existed in large numbers in the vast rural area: people-run schools. People-run schools are schools “sponsored and manag ed by a community of people or a collective organization, and funded by resources fr om the community or collective organization, and from a variety of sources” (Tsang 2000b, p. 4). This type of school came into being in response to the huge gap between the supply and demand for public education in the poverty-stricken rural areas, where around 80 percent of the total population lived. Parents usually coul d not pay any tuition, and teachers received no regular salaries. Instead, villagers pr ovided food and room for the teachers and helped in such activities as school building, and t eachers had to move from home to home for accommodation. The government offered almost no financial support for these schools, but at the same time the party maintained a tight control. People-run schools had neither administrative autonomy nor academic freedo m (Deng, 1997). For this reason, though privately funded, people-run schools are not categorized as private schools (Deng, 1997; Tsang, 2000b).3.2 1976—Today. The resurgence of private education in PRC in post-Mao era After the chaotic “10-year Cultural Revolution” end ed in 1976, the less radical faction in the Chinese Communist Party rose to power under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping. The Third Central Meeting of the Eleventh Party Confere nce decided on a new package of national development policies, which is known as “r eform and open” strategy. In the process of reform, the Party further liberated its thinking and started the creation of a “socialist market economy”. Education’s role in nat ional development is no longer ideological; instead education has the important fu nction of meeting the skill requirements of a developing socialist market economy and is por trayed as the strategic foundation for national development (Tsang, 1996, p. 54). With exc ess demand from the society, and with the permission of private business in a social ist country, private education reappeared in China.Definition of private schools Different definitions of private education will r esult in different categorization of public and private sect ors. Usually there are two standards: Is it privately funded and is it privately managed. Accor ding to the Regulation on Education Run by Social Forces, instituted since July 31, 199 7, private schools (or schools run by social forces) refer to those run by "businesses an d governmental organizations, social groups and other social organizations and individua ls, using non-government educational financial resources, to provide schooling and other forms of education to the society." (Lin, 1999).Context of private school resurgence The potential education market is created by excessive social demand as compared with limited go vernmental supply of education, together with the consumer’s willingness and capabi lity to pay. Usually private education comes into play when there is either an absolute sh ortage of education such that not everybody has access to schooling, or a demand for education alternatives that the existing system cannot satisfy (James, 1995). According to L in (1999), in developing countries, the rationale for the existence of private education te nds to be very different from that in more


15 of 25developed countries. Carnoy and Samoff (1990) see p rivate education in developing countries as an inescapable solution to the rising demand for education, particularly at the secondary level. Parents who send their children to private schools are not necessarily exercising a constitutional right of choice, but ra ther solving personal problems or using a system that increases their children's chance for s ocial mobility. The absolute shortage of education supply seems to be the main reason for th e existence of private education. This is also true in the case of China. Shortage of funding proved to be devastating to China’s public school system (Deng, 1997). China’s educational budget between 1950 and 1985 rarely exceeded 3 percent of its GNP and was o verall 0.7 percent less than the international average (Ho and Mao, 1992). The under -invested education system, coinciding with a huge and increasing population, m akes the situation even worse. Examinations were widely adopted as a mechanism of competition for the limited education resources. Primary school students compet ed for “key” junior high schools, and junior high students compete for “key” senior high schools, with these sought-after schools providing nearly sure access to higher educ ation. At the end of high school years comes the notoriously competitive college entrance examination. At each of these stages, a large number of students are denied the chance fo r further education. When private schools came back in the early 80s, their targetted market was these “failed” students, offering them the kind of training needed to compet e for college enrollment for a second time.The demand for such second-chance schools outside t he public education system was made even larger as a result of the Cultural Revolu tion (1966—1976). During those years, youths were denied access to regular higher educati on and were sent to the countryside to receive “re-education” by laboring on the farms. On ce the normal higher education system was restored in 1978, the huge number of college ca ndidates that had accumulated in the previous 10 years began to take the entrance examin ation at the same time. Such severe congestion inevitably left a large number of failed students who created a demand for further training.The market of “second-chance” students still exists today. Public compulsory education is not absolutely free. Though it charges no tuition, fees are nonetheless collected under various names. In underdeveloped areas, children ha ve to travel across hills, rivers and vast farming fields to get to their schools. When a ll the fees, traveling costs and forgone earnings are considered, public education is so exp ensive that impoverished families in some rural areas cannot afford it. Private schools come up catering to the education demand of these families. In big cities and the coa stal region, private schools offered a second chance to those academically unqualified stu dents from rich families that could afford the private tuition. For those who failed to get admission to public universities, private universities, many of them correspondence c olleges, rose to meet the demand of adults.Starting in 1992, when the first elite high school was founded, demand generated by supply shortage was no longer the only market for p rivate investment. With the booming economy, people began to seek more school alternati ves beyond what the public system offers. Economic growth brought a sharp rise in fam ily incomes, giving people the financial foundation of choice. At the same time, t he economy has been shifting from a central-planning system to a socialist market econo my. This has increased the demand for skilled labor force, for which private schools have responded quickly.


16 of 25With economic development being regarded as the pri mary task of national effort, social values have changed. The ideal of egalitarianism ha s been abandoned for the sake of faster growth. Between being poor but equal, and being ric h but unequal, the government has chosen the latter. Wealth has become the common goa l of the society. Although political connections prove to be the most effective method o f wealth accumulation, education is the path to higher economic gains for the majority of common citizens who can afford it. To ensure a “brighter” future, parents want to choo se the “best” education for their children. The great demand for certain skills in th e labor market is reflected in the great demand of training in those skills. For example, fo r most families, key middle schools would be their ideal choice. But since these school s are not accessible to most of them, and yet they are not satisfied with common high sch ools, private schools with better facilities and more flexible curricula become their second best choice. For some families where both parents are involved in business with li ttle time to care for their children, an alternative schooling that can take care of both th e study and life of students is attractive to them. In recent years, it has become more and mo re popular for families living in the central and western regions to send their children to big cities in the coastal area so that they will be more adaptable to the metropolitan and modern environment in the future and get more job opportunities. It is impossible for th ese students to get enrolled in the local key schools of big cities. But money can buy them p laces in private schools. Other factors helped enlarge the market demand for school alternatives. For instance, the one-child policy, a method of population control, c reated a large number of nuclear families with only a single child to educate. This policy came into effect around 1976. These children began to compete for secondary educa tion in the 90s. No parent would like to see failure in the training of the only child of the family. In addition, the parents of these children suffered from the Cultural Revolution, and most of them were denied the chance to receive even secondary education. They would nev er want this to occur to their children. As a result, they have made efforts to se ek the best education available to their children. Some parents from cities were sent to rem ote areas in the revolutionary years. Many were unable to return to their hometown, even after the end of the revolution. Their hope lies with their children: If their children ca n get admitted by universities in cities (especially Shanghai and Beijing), current policy a llows the parents’ hukou (Note 3) to return to the city with their children. Private sch ools in eastern cities also give these parents a good choice to realize their dreams.Another factor, though not quite clear in its natur e and scale, has contributed to the market for elite private schools. Economic growth has brou ght more illegitimate children, born to the mistress of rich businessmen. Unofficial inform ation suggests that there is a population of nearly 100,000 mistresses in the Zhuj iang area alone. Unfortunately, these children are not permitted in regular schools. At t he same time, many of the rich fathers are more than willing to pay for the education of t heir children. This generates a market demand for private education, especially in the spe cial economic zones in South China. Such a great and heterogeneous demand described abo ve is not sufficient by itself to bring private education back into existence. Privatizatio n in education follows the privatization of economic production in the country (Tsang, 2000b ), which is part of the “socialist market economy” policy. Besides, with the increasin g GDP per capita, families now have the capability to consume private education. The ov erall policy and household income make people’s education demand realizable.


17 of 25Regulatory environment Alongside the burst of demand for private educati on, the government created a favorable policy environment f or the growth of private schools. As early as 1985, some documents on “structural reform of China’s educational system” allowed university departments to find part of thei r resources through engaging in business activities or through enrolling a certain number of students outside the admission quota set by the government (Lin, 1999). This was t he beginning of education decentralization. A series of regulations and laws concerning non-state schools were issued afterwards. The key ones that are regulating today’s market are: the 1993 Provisional Regulations on the Non-State Higher Edu cational Sectors, the 1995 Provisional Regulations on Education Institutions J ointly Sponsored with International Institutions, the 1995 Education Law, the 1996 Voca tional Education Law, the 1997 Regulations for the Non-State Education Sector, and the 1998 Higher Education Law (LaRocque & Jacobsen, 2000).These regulations provide a supportive stance for p rivate education in the PRC. The Law stipulates that private education institutions shou ld be non-profit organizations, and the surplus shall not be distributed among investors. U nder the current laws, private schools are not entitled to public education funds. In fact from 1985, the government began to supplement state funding of education from other so urces. Its policies are consistently seeking more money from student families rather tha n increasing the governmental investment in education. More and more of the finan cial burdens of education are being transferred from the state to individuals. Even pub lic education is no longer free. Students enrolled in regular public universities began to pa y tuition from 1994. The risk to private investment in education is the informality and lack of transparency of the regulatory environment in China (LaRocque & Jac obsen, 2000). Enterprising individuals were ready to assume financial risks as well as the political risk of being criticized or condemned by the government should it reverse its policy (Kwong, 1997). But such a loose regulatory environment also genera tes some flexibility in the implementation of regulations. Some private schools successfully acquired support from the local government, and non-profit private school s are actually collecting surplus through various ways. Some investors started busine sses affiliated with their schools. Profits gained from education can thus be transferr ed to company surplus and become legal profits. Policy makers are attempting to come up with different interpretations of school’s “non-profit” status. In fact, the legislat ion on private education is one of the hottest topics among Chinese educators. Debates mai nly concentrate on for-profit or non-profit status, ownership, and even the legal na me for private education: Should it be “people-run schools”, or “schools run by social for ces”, or just private schools (Wang, 2001).Development of private schools The development of private schools in the post-Ma o era is divided into three stages (Lin, 1999): 1978—1987 is the first period, when most private schools were training institutions and night school s targeting second chance students. The second period saw the appearance of private regular schools. And the third period started from 1992, when the first elite school appeared in China, signaling the advent of rapid growth of various types of private schools to the p resent day. In 1994, private schools constituted less than 4 pe rcent of the country’s schools (Kwong, 1997). The distribution of private schools is not b alanced. In Wenzhou city of Anhui province, private secondary schools made up 51% of all secondary schools in 1996


18 of 25(Zhang, 1996). Private schools are developing quick ly in some economically underdeveloped region like Yunnan Province as well as in the affluent cities. According to the survey done by LaRocque and Jacobsen (2000), in 1998, there were nearly 42,000 private education institutions in China. Of these, 85% were at the pre-school level, 11% were at the elementary and secondary levels and 3.5 % were at the tertiary level. Excluding the tertiary sector, these private institutions enr olled 6.5 million students in 1998. In 1997, there were over 1200 private universities existing in the country (Lin, 1999), with 37 of them having the right to confer degrees.Different types of private schools Private schools are often classified into three m ajor types: urban elite primary and secondary, ordinary private schools, and private universities (Lin, 1994). Urban elite schools attract the most a ttention from the society because of their extremely high tuitions and construction fees charg ed to students. They are usually boarding schools that have substantial resources. T eachers receive salaries than public school teachers and schools often have additional r equirements beyond the regular curriculum requested by the government. Students ar e admitted on family’s capacity and willingness to pay instead of academic achievements But to ensure a certain level of quality, they sometimes provide scholarships to att ract top students from key schools and persuade poorly performing students to transfer to vocational schools before the college entrance examination (Lin, 1999). In a sense, elite schools provide a chance for some rich students to “buy” the right of leaning.Ordinary private school includes rural private scho ols, single-sex schools and art schools (Lin, 1999). They are affordable by the average fam ilies and are usually secondary schools. Charging much lower tuition, these schools are less profit-oriented than elite schools. In fact, many rural private schools were f ounded in response to the high and unaffordable charges of public schools. To some ext ent, they are similar to the people-run schools between 1952 and 1978. These schools typica lly have meager finances and resources. Most of the teachers are part-time or re tired teachers seeking extra income besides their regular salaries (Lin 1999). Some sch ools in this category also offer training in foreign languages, computer skills, or examinati on preparation classes. Although it is claimed that private universities en rolled one quarter of the total college student population in 1995, a great proportion are correspondence students. Their targeted market is adults instead of high school graduates. Usually private universities offer limited professional training in a narrow range of subjects that are popular in the job market. There are three types of private colleges: The firs t type has the right to confer degrees independently. The second type can issue joint degr ees with other regular institutions, and the third type only provides training for students to take the Adult Self-study College Examinations, which lead to a college diploma equiv alent. The last type of private tertiary training had 1,080 schools in 1998 (LaRocque & Jaco bsen, 2000). Private colleges are usually affordable to common families. To survive o n limited financial resources, they mostly employ part-time teachers or senior students from famous public universities. Investors in private schools Investors in education range from business entrep reneurs to retired teachers, government officials, overseas Ch inese, and public schools. They invest in education for different reasons. Many of them ar e driven by economic profit. Some are dissatisfied with the existing education system and thus carry out their own experimental approaches, just as Tao Xingzhi did in the 1920s th rough the 1940s. Some business people set up schools just to obtain profitable land and t ax benefits for schools. The most interesting and sometimes ironic phenomenon is that of public schools investing in private


19 of 25education. Starting from 1985, universities have be en allowed to raise financial resources outside of state funding by operating a business or admitting extra students. With the existing facilities and teachers at hand, it is so easy to set up a short training session so that adults outside the campus can have partial acc ess to higher education, while teachers can get some extra money to improve their lives. Se tting up a night school appears to be a more legitimate and fair way of generating revenue for the public schools than admitting extra students who actually use money to compensate for their academic inadequacy. In addition, starting a private school on the basis of an existing public school is much easier and safer than starting a new one from scratch.Operation Lin (1999) identified four sources of funds for p rivate schools: state funds, fees charged to parents, income from operating scho ol businesses, and income from offering extra classes. Other sources also include equity and short-term bank loans (LaRocque & Jacobsen, 2000). Among these, a signifi cant amount comes from fees charged to parents. For elite high schools, this ca tegory consists of tuition, construction fees, education savings and other fees like transpo rtation and uniform. Education saving fund is way higher than normal tuition (around 10,0 00 to 30,000 USD). Schools promise to return the fund in the original amount at the ti me when the students have finished study. This form of deposit plays two important roles: The huge amount of money can be used as an interest-free loan from parents, so that schools can afford expensive initial construction. Second, during the years of study, sc hools can benefit from the interest on deposits or returns to other investments that schoo ls make. In a rotating fashion, the deposit withdrawn by graduated students is replaced by the deposit from in-coming students. Though the capital flows all the time, it s stock is constant. The deposit becomes fixed school property.Private schools have more independence in administr ation. Under the general guidance of the government, they can employ their own teachers and administrative staff quickly and make changes to the curriculum without the approval from the local government. Teacher’s salary is used as an incentive to better performance. It seems that in this way, the problem of stagnant curriculum that tends to st ifle creativity of students in the public schools can be solved by the flexibility of private schools. Such ceremonies as flag-raising every morning in the public schools could be overlo oked or quietly sacrificed for academic excellence (Deng, 1997). However, few stud ies have been done to compare the efficiency between public schools and private ones. It would be premature to claim that the curriculum of private schools is better than th at used by public schools just because they have added several more computer classes or pi ano classes. And since love of one’s nation and people is one of the essential tasks of education, the flag-raising ceremony might be a good method of cultivating pride in one’ s own country. But it is doubtful whether the couple of minutes saved from the ceremo ny really can improve academic excellence much. Other practices of elite private s chools, such as the boarding requirement and typical weekday timetable (Lin, 199 9, p. 64) do not seem to differ a lot from those of key high schools. Many of the “innova tions” seem to be designed for marketing purposes rather than educational advantag e. In addition, in some cases principals do not have the right to decide on finan cial issues. Allocation of resources is under the control of investors who may have no expe rience in the education field. Concerns about private schools The personal accounts nationwide accumulated a to tal sum of deposit exceeding 2 trillion RMB (or more th an 250 billion USD) as of 1994 (Deng, 1997). The government is trying to direct th e citizens to consume more education


20 of 25out of their own purse. People stay longer in schoo ls. Public universities and graduate schools are expanding their student population quic kly, in some cases by 20% per year. It seems that the government is pressing to expand the current educational capacity using private resources. One concern about private educat ion in such an environment is its over-heated growth, which, in turn, may possibly re sult in improper competition such as the using of dishonest advertising. Another concern is that the government appears to care more about earning money by using its education ins titutions than educational quality. A lot of residence halls and classrooms are being bui lt around universities, while the number of regular teaching faculty remains unchanged. Grad uate students are compelled to teach “voluntarily” some big classes completely by themse lves. A more serious concern is the inequality problem. D eng (1997, p. 136) pointed out that “private schools that prospered on the growing gulf between the rich and poor only magnified the problems that were besetting Chinese society in the 1990s”. Compared with the past, rich students have one more way to get ed ucation: Buy it. However, even if there were no private schools, the “enrolling extra-quota students for financial resources” policy has already give privilege to the economically adva ntaged group. Besides, as mentioned above, rural ordinary private schools actually crea te chances of education for the poor who cannot afford the public education. The relation be tween education equality and the development of private education requires more deta iled study. Actually the current private education development policy is confusing i n that on the one hand, policy makers are making great efforts to re-interpret the “non-p rofit education” regulation so that entrepreneurs can distribute profit legally (becaus e researchers believe profit is the incentive), while on the other hand, educators also realize the importance of promoting private education in poor areas to meet the excess demand there, forgetting little profit can be further wrenched from those families (Yang, 2001 ). There are other worries about private education. Fo r example, private schools usually offer classes on “hot” skills. Now it is not rare f or some kindergartens to teach children English before they can speak Chinese fluently. Com puter classes are the emphasis of many private high schools, while such subjects like math is ignored (Lin, 1999). This is detrimental to the establishment of a solid knowled ge foundation for students. Besides, there is no systematic evaluation mechanism for the outcomes of education. Little information on student performance in private schoo ls is available. The most recent conference on private education policy held in Hang zhou this summer was abundant with articles of casual “thoughts” instead of serious as sessments.4. ConclusionThe available literature shows a lack of systematic experiment and evaluation in the study of private education policy. The description of pri vate school development is limited to the amount of investment, the number of schools, th e students enrolled, sources of fund, the fees charged, and so on. With nearly 10 years o f rapid development since 1992, the outcomes of private education can be and should be measured to determine its contributions and social consequences. With the con tinuing expansion of public education, private education may face serious chall enges in the future. As demonstrated by the private education history, C hina has started its non-governmental schooling since Confucius began to provide educatio n to people outside the government and the ruling class. The current private education differs from the Chinese tradition in


21 of 25that todayÂ’s education is unprecedentedly commercia lized and market-oriented. Education history tells people that education is a career tha t requires devotion from the teachers, that education is a science whose value lies with truth, and that education is an art, whose vigor comes with innovation. Resource diversificati on and expansion needs to be balanced with quality.Notes 1. The 2010 education goals include: Reduce the young people illiteracy rate to less than 1% and raise the total adult literacy rate to 90%; The junior high school gross enrollment rate reaches 95% so that 95% of students can comple te the 9-year compulsory education; The gross enrollment rates of senior high schools a nd colleges will increase to 50% and 11% respectively (State Education Commission of PRC 1996). 2. The eight-legged essay has played a famous (and som etimes infamous) role in Chinese literature. It began as an attempt to give an order ed form to the essay and eventually became a standard part of the Civil Service examina tion. As time went on, it began to be no more than a rigid and lifeless exercise that all examinees were expected to perform. However, some of the earlier essays successfully co nveyed real messages briefly and tellingly within the highly regulated eight-legged format. (See for more inf ormation) 3. Hukou is like citizenship. But citizenship is used to di fferentiate country identity and control population movement across countries. Hukou is used to differentiate city, county and town identity and control free migration across different areas within a country.ReferencesChinese Christian Education: A Report of a Conferen ce Held in New York City (1925, April 6th). Paper presented at the Chinese Christia n Education Conference, New York. The Ninth Five-year Plan for Educational Developmen tal and The Long Range Development Program Toward the Year 2001 (1996). Beijin: State Education Commission of the People's Republic of China.Cai, Y. (1984). Complete Collection of Works by Cai Yuanpei ( Vol. 3). Shanghai: China Publishing Bureau (Zhonghua Shuju).Cai, Y. (1984). Complete Collection of Works by Cai Yuanpei ( Vol. 5). Shanghai: China Publishing Bureau (Zhonghua Shuju).Carnoy, M., & Samoff, J. (1990). Education and Social Transition in the Third World Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Chen, J. (1982). Contemporary History of Chinese Education. Beijing: PeopleÂ’s Education Press.Deng, P. (1997). Private Education in Modern China Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. Ho, Z., & Mao, J. (1992). Is Our Education Funding above Average among Countries of a Comparable Level of Development? Chinese Education, 25 (Fall), 76, 89, 93.


22 of 25Hu, Y. (1994). Private Schools in Contemporary Chin a. In Z. Zhang (Ed.), Theory and Practice of Private (Minban) Schools Beijing: Worker's Publishing Agency of China. James, E. (1995). Public-Private Division of Respon sibility for Education. In M. Carnoy (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Economics of Educatio n (pp. 450-455). Oxford: Pergamon.Jiang, M. (2001). Supress Demand or Expand Supply? In W. Hu (Ed.), Focus on People-run Education Legislation (Jujiao Minban Jia oyu Lifa) (pp. 227-231). Beijing: Education and Science Publishing House.Kwong, J. (1997). The Reemergence of Private School s in Socialist China. Comparative Education Review, 41 (3), 244-259. LaRocque, N., & Jacobsen, V. (2000). Minban: A Market and Regulatory Survey of Private Education in China: Executive Summary .: International Finance Corporation, Arthur Anderson.Lin, J. (1994). The Development and Prospect of Private Schools in China: A Preliminary Study New Orleans, LA: the Annual Meeting of the Americ an Educational Reserch Association.Lin, J. (1999). Social Transformation and Private Education in Chin a Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.Qiu, J. (1997). The Education Theories and Schools in Modern China Beijing: People's Education Press.Qu, Y. (2001). Thoughts on Problems in People-run E ducation Development. In W. Hu (Ed.), Focus on People-run Education Legislation (Jujiao M inban Jiaoyu Lifa) (pp. 195-202). Beijing: Education and Science Publishing House. Tsang, M. C. (1996). Financial Reform of Basic Educ ation: The Chinese Experience. Economics of Education Review 15 (4) 423-444 Tsang, M. C. (2000a). Education and National Develo pment in China since 1949: Oscillating Policies and Enduring Dilemmas, China Review 2000 Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.Tsang, M. C. (2000b). School Choice in People's Republic of China NCSPE occasional paper. Available: [2001, July] Tstsuro & Yamamoto. (1953). The Anti-Christian Move ment in China, 1922-1927. Far Eastern Quarterly, 12 (December), 136. Wang, J. (2001). Disputes in People-run Education L egislation and My Suggestions. In W. Hu (Ed.), Focus on People-run Education Legislation (Jujiao M inban Jiaoyu Lifa) (pp. 1-7). Beijing: Education and Science Publishing Hou se. Wang, L. (1982). Memory of Xiaozhuang School Changsha: Hunan Education Press.


23 of 25 Yang, H. (2001). Some Thoughts on People-run Educat ion. In W. Hu (Ed.), Focus on People-run Education Legislation (Jujiao Minban Jia oyu Lifa) (pp. 9-14). Beijing: Education and Science Publishing House.Zhang, Z. (1996). Developmental Characteristics of Educational Undertaking Run by Social Forces in Our Country. World of Education Run by Social Forces, 1, 8-9.About the AuthorZeyu XuDepartment of International and Trans-cultural Stud ies Economics and Education Program Teachers College, Columbia University New York, NY10027Phone: (212) 678-3259 Fax: (212) 678-3474 Email: Zeyu Xu is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the field of Economics and Education in Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also a research assistant in the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education (NCSPE) directed by Professor Henry M. Levin. His research interests include education privatization, education and poverty reduction in developing countries and applied econo metric methods in education policy studies.Copyright 2002 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 8 5287-2411. The Commentary Editor is Casey D. Cobb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University


24 of 25 Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Ontario Institute ofTechnology Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Education Commission of the States William McInerney Purdue University Mary McKeown-Moak MGT of America (Austin, TX) Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Anne L. Pemberton Hugh G. Petrie SUNY Buffalo Richard C. Richardson New York University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Dennis Sayers California State University—Stanislaus Jay D. Scribner University of Texas at Austin Michael Scriven Robert E. Stake University of Illinois—UC Robert Stonehill U.S. Department of Education David D. Williams Brigham Young University EPAA Spanish Language Editorial BoardAssociate Editor for Spanish Language Roberto Rodrguez Gmez Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico Adrin Acosta (Mxico) Universidad de J. Flix Angulo Rasco (Spain) Universidad de Teresa Bracho (Mxico) Centro de Investigacin y DocenciaEconmica-CIDEbracho Alejandro Canales (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma Ursula Casanova (U.S.A.) Arizona State Jos Contreras Domingo Universitat de Barcelona Erwin Epstein (U.S.A.) Loyola University of Josu Gonzlez (U.S.A.) Arizona State


25 of 25 Rollin Kent (Mxico)Departamento de InvestigacinEducativa-DIE/ Mara Beatriz Luce (Brazil)Universidad Federal de Rio Grande do Sul-UFRGSlucemb@orion.ufrgs.brJavier Mendoza Rojas (Mxico)Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicojaviermr@servidor.unam.mxMarcela Mollis (Argentina)Universidad de Buenos Humberto Muoz Garca (Mxico) Universidad Nacional Autnoma deMxicohumberto@servidor.unam.mxAngel Ignacio Prez Gmez (Spain)Universidad de Daniel Schugurensky (Argentina-Canad)OISE/UT, Simon Schwartzman (Brazil)American Institutes for Resesarch–Brazil(AIRBrasil) Jurjo Torres Santom (Spain)Universidad de A Carlos Alberto Torres (U.S.A.)University of California, Los


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