Thursday, July 2, 2015

It's time for the Blaine Amendment to go

"For the sake of freedom, peace, and unity," writes Neal McCluskey, "it is time for Blaine to go."

Sunday, June 28, 2015

School choice: A declaration of independence

Contrary to the historical mythology of the education establishment, Thomas Jefferson’s proposals for education bear no resemblance to the government school monopoly we know today, Greg Forster writes in the July issue of Perspective. Indeed, he says, "government control over the minds of the young would have been seen by the founding generation as intolerable tyranny. ... The road back to self-government and the principles of the Declaration runs through educational choice."

Norman mothers take a stand against bullying

The News on 6 has the story.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

After same-sex 'marriage' ruling, Christians should bolt from government schools

"In the aftermath of the Obergefell decision by the Supreme Court," Douglas Wilson writes, "there are many steps we can take, and some of the first ones are steps we must take. Here is one that millions of parents could take in just a small number of weeks—they could pull their kids out of the government school system."

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Regulations or market solutions?

Following Nevada's passage of a near-universal education savings account (ESA) program, some analysts are arguing for strict accountability of the ESA program. As Jason Bedrick writes,
One wonk went so far as to recommend that the state “set a high bar for the quality of services offered by providers” and “eliminate providers who consistently fail to meet the mark.” Another claimed that “no one but the purest Friedmanites think that the magic hand of the market will automatically lead to better outcomes.” Of course, there’s nothing “magic” about the “invisible hand” of the market—it’s just a metaphor Adam Smith used to describe the process of spontaneous order, by which the voluntary actions of disparate individuals organically form a system that is the result of human action, but not human design. 
So how does the market “magically” provide quality? Imagine you’re looking for a new dishwasher. As an average consumer, you know nothing about the mechanics involved in making a dishwasher, so the dishwasher manufacturers and retailers have a great advantage over you. Fortunately for you, without any government mandate, numerous organizations took it upon themselves to help you overcome this information asymmetry and ensure product quality. Some, like Underwriters Laboratories, provide private certification for dishwashers that meet their standards. Others, like Consumer Reports, provide expert reviews of hundreds of dishwashers and rate them on five criteria. And still others, like Amazon, offer a platform for consumers to rate and provide feedback about dishwashers based on their personal experience. 
In these ways, the market spontaneously channels expert knowledge and user experience to provide would-be consumers with needed information. It’s a messy process but, as scholars from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University show in a recent paper, it works better than having a Ministry of Dishwasher Quality define what makes a “quality” dishwasher and force all manufacturers into compliance.
Read more here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

'The first truly 21st-century education model'

"The emergence of education savings accounts may mark the beginning of the end for an ossified education-delivery system that is has changed little since the 19th century," Clint Bolick writes in The Wall Street Journal.
It begins an important shift of government from a monopoly provider of education into an enabler of education in whatever form or forum it most benefits the child. By reducing the need for bureaucracies and capital construction, education savings accounts can reverse the ever-growing costs of public education, even as the accounts provide resources for families to save for college. ... Most important, they hitch public policy to infinite technological possibilities, creating the first truly 21st-century education model wherein public funding follows the child.