Regulating the Educational Marketplace: School Choice and Competition in the Urban North, 1880-1929
Robert Gross

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Wisconsin-Madison

Primary Discipline

Debates surrounding market forces, competition, and regulation in urban education have a long history. The growth of Catholic parochial schools in cities from 1880-1929 introduced new school choices for Catholic parents, and competition with public schools. Their rise prompted a host of state and non-state actors to contend with complex questions surrounding how to regulate these education markets. Relying on public and Catholic school administrative records, periodicals, and manuscript collections, this dissertation examines the social, economic, and political consequences surrounding parochial-school construction in the urban north. It explores how public officials, religious authorities, educators, and parents negotiated school competition. In doing so, it integrates the history of urban public and parochial schools, placing their stories in the broader context of competition and regulation in American life during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
About Robert Gross

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