On my Fox Business program this week (Thursday at 8 & 11pm ET, Friday at 10pmET), we’ll look at education and ask, “Why are we imprisoning our kids?”
America offers choice, and therefore competition, in nearly every other sector of the economy. We see wonderful results. One area where there remains little choice and competition is in public schools. The results are predictable. Since 1980, government spending on education, adjusted for inflation, has nearly doubled. Test scores have been flat for decades. Kids in other countries clean our clocks on international tests. The government monopoly is not working. They never do.
In this week’s syndicated column, I write about the two biggest factors that tend to predict a country’s educational success: autonomy to experiment and parental choice.
Parents care about their kids and want them to learn and succeed — even poor parents. Thousands line up hoping to get their kids into one of the few hundred lottery-assigned slots at Harlem Success Academy, a highly ranked charter school in New York City. Kids and parents cry when they lose.
Yet the establishment is against choice. The union demonstrated outside Harlem Success the first day of school. And President Obama killed Washington, D.C.'s voucher program.
This is typical of elitists, who believe that parents, especially poor ones, can't make good choices about their kids' education.
Is that so? Ask James Tooley about that. Tooley is a professor of education policy who spends most of every year in some of the poorest parts of Africa, India and China. For 10 years, he's studied how poor kids do in "free" government schools and — hold on — private schools.
That's right. In the worst slums, private for-profit schools educate kids better than the government's schools do…Tooley tested kids in both kinds of schools, and the private-school students score better.
Full article here.