How Education Can Fight Poverty and Despair: The Free-Market Solution

You’ve got to love anyone whose internet nickname is Jane Galt.* And you especially have to love it when the aforementioned blogger is explaining how to make compassionate public policy that’s practical at the same time.

[It] is not true that [poor] kids are simply genetic train wrecks who we should be prepared to write off. Disadvantaged kids can be taught to read, write, and perform mathematical operations, and they can be taught to behave if their parents have neglected that task. In our system, however, any school that manages to do so achieves this feat only through heroic efforts to overcome the institutional barriers put in the way. For various reasons, this is not happening. I have a novel approach to solving this problem: I propose we . . . pay schools on the basis of their ability to educate these children. I plan to call this system something nifty and new-economy, like . . . a market. That has an edgy, new-millenial kind of feel, doesn’t it? I think it’s the juxtaposition of the hard-edged k and t sounds with the soft, sensuous labials of the first syllable.

For more Jane Galt posts on education—and I promise you they’re all brilliant—go here, here, and here.  For extra fun, be sure to read the comments.

* – For more on the nickname, go here.


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