Sunday, December 04, 2005

School Choice - 50 years

Milton Friedman was the first to propose that parents be able to choose the school their child goes to, rather than elected or unelected bureaucrats. In 1955 he published an article titled "The Role of Government in Education." The original article - PDF file. His first concern was freedom, not quality or cost. Indeed schools were better then than now and at a much lower cost. Education is a first concern of our society and government. So there are laws for compulsory schooling; out governments finance free schooling; and they have a monopoly on running them. Why the monopoly? The issue was quiet until the quality of schooling deteriorated while the cost increased dramatically. Friedman says that a big change occurred in 1965 when the National Education Association converted itself from a professional association to a trade union. Since then there has been increased concern about the effectiveness of schooling in the US. And the quality has gone done while the spending has doubled. Milton and Rose Friedman have formed a foundation to provide information about school choice, to promote it and to a limited degree fund it. Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation

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