It looks as though U.S. reading scores are lower today than they were in 1992. But don’t worry! Politicians are willing to try any reform in the world to stop this problem—except real school choice. In fact, since 1983’s A Nation At Risk, we’ve been in permanent reform mode.
One thing that we haven’t tried is creating real marketplace for education with freedom of choice for parents. You remember the free market, don’t you? Driven by competition, it’s the reason that a 2005 Toyota Camry runs better than a 1979 Chevy Nova and I am currently able to hold more computer storage on my keychain than I had on my first PC.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could achieve some small fraction of that improvement in education? Heck, wouldn’t it be nice if we could make any forward progress in educaton?
Isn’t it time we gave consumer choice and supplier competition a chance? I mean, I’d hate to say anything nice about free-market capitalism, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Seriously, freedom of choice isn’t just the American Way—it’s actually helpful for parents and children. Or it would be, if we ever gave it a shot.