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Private Sector Education vs. Government Monopoly Education


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#1
Shade

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Education Is Too Important for a Government Monopoly

It's time to let parents choose

John Stossel | February 18, 2010


The government-school establishment has said the same thing for decades: Education is too important to leave to the competitive market. If we really want to help our kids, we must focus more resources on the government schools.

But despite this mantra, the focus is on something other than the kids. When The Washington Post asked George Parker, head of the Washington, D.C., teachers union, about the voucher program there, he said: "Parents are voting with their feet. ... As kids continue leaving the system, we will lose teachers. Our very survival depends on having kids in D.C. schools so we'll have teachers to represent."

How revealing is that?

Since 1980, government spending on education, adjusted for inflation, has nearly doubled. But test scores have been flat for decades.

Today we spend a stunning $11,000 a year per student—more than $200,000 per classroom. It's not working. So when will we permit competition and choice, which works great with everything else? I'll explore those questions on my Fox Business program tonight night at 8 and 11 p.m. Eastern time (and again Friday at 10 p.m.).

The people who test students internationally told us that two factors predict a country's educational success: Do the schools have the autonomy to experiment, and do parents have a 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 finds as many as six private schools in small villages. "The majority of (poor) schoolchildren are in private school, and these schools outperform government schools at a fraction of the teacher cost," he says.

Why do parents with meager resources pass up "free" government schools and sacrifice to send their children to private schools? Because, as one parent told the BBC, the private owner will do something that's virtually impossible in America's government schools: replace teachers who do not teach.

As in America, the elitist establishment in those countries scoffs at the private schools and the parents who choose them. A woman who runs government schools in Nigeria calls such parents "ignoramuses."

But that can't be true. Tooley tested kids in both kinds of schools, and the private-school students score better.

To give the establishment its best shot, consider Head Start, which politicians view as sacred. The $166 billion program is 45 years old, so it's had time to prove itself. But guess what: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently found no difference in first-grade test results between kids who went through Head Start and similar kids who didn't. President Obama has repeatedly promised to "eliminate programs that don't work," but he wants to give Head Start a billion more dollars. The White House wouldn't explain this contradiction to me.

Andrew Coulson, head of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Reform, said, "If Head Start (worked), we would expect now, after 45 years of this program, for graduation rates to have gone up; we would expect the gap between the kids of high school dropouts and the kids of college graduates to have shrunk; we would expect students to be learning more. None of that is true."

Choice works, and government monopolies don't. How much more evidence do we need?


Education: Free and Compulsory - Murray N. Rothbard - Mises Institute

Edited by Shade, 19 February 2010 - 03:02 AM.


#2
lord chronic

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I'm a victim of the NYS high school curriculum. I'm still mathematics deficient even after tring to relearn it all. As a parent all I have to say is I'll be damned if I don't homeschool. I mostly blame teacher's unions and a state bureaucracy that puts attorneys in charge of curriculum ( I didn't take trigonometry and algebra, i took math A, math A/B, and math B. yea, i don't know what the fuck it means either ask NYS) This is clear when public schools are compared with charter schools.

#3
Nokturnal420

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I enjoyed my free education, thanks.

#4
Shade

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I enjoyed my free education, thanks.


It wasn't free.

#5
Nokturnal420

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It wasn't free.


It was for me, and why should I care who was exploited so that I could advance? I'm not a communist :rolleyes:

#6
lord chronic

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Don't worry buddy, you'll pay it back and then some. And you shouldn't care who you exploited to advance, you should care who exploited you (as a child no less) in order to advance.

#7
Arteezy

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I'm a victim of the NYS high school curriculum. I'm still mathematics deficient even after tring to relearn it all. As a parent all I have to say is I'll be damned if I don't homeschool. I mostly blame teacher's unions and a state bureaucracy that puts attorneys in charge of curriculum ( I didn't take trigonometry and algebra, i took math A, math A/B, and math B. yea, i don't know what the fuck it means either ask NYS) This is clear when public schools are compared with charter schools.


I have to say that I went to a NYS public high school and was actually happy with my education. Given, I lived in a fairly wealthy town and was in the "smart kid" track since 1st grade.

Now, that isn't to say that my school was awesome. Our English and Social Studies were complete jokes except for a couple good teachers in each department. In Math, I was able to complete Calculus I, II, and III and in science I took AP Physics. Obviously, I might've been able to get a better education at an expensive private school, but all things considered I was happy with my high school education.

EDIT: I'm a big believer in home-schooling/autonomous learning. I think that parents have some responsibility to educate their children and I also think that after a certain point, kids will start to learn on their own.

Compulsory education is nonsense. Why force a kid to go to school when he's just going to ruin the environment? If a kid doesn't want to be in school, let him leave and if he continues disrupting classes, kick him out.

Edited by kstigs, 19 February 2010 - 01:44 AM.


#8
Shade

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It was for me, and why should I care who was exploited so that I could advance? I'm not a communist :rolleyes:


Er... You're advocating the redistribution of wealth. Redistribution of wealth is a communist practice. So... apparently you have no idea what you're talking about. So much for being "advanced".

Apparently you don't care about morality either, seeing as how redistribution of wealth is immoral, and you don't "care who was exploited".

Edited by Shade, 19 February 2010 - 02:12 AM.

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#9
AHuman

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Private schools = smarmy rich kids who have no exposure to the real world.
Public schools = kids who know how to fucking fend for themselves.

Yeah, private schools don't breed street knowledge, and street knowledge is something that's priceless.

#10
aaronman

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Private schools = smarmy rich kids who have no exposure to the real world.
Public schools = kids who know how to fucking fend for themselves.


That has nothing to do with the curriculum and everything to do with the state's influence on the market. If there were no public schools it would be a whole different ball game.

I'm sure you could find some podunk school to resemble the shittier days of public education for real cheap in a private market.

#11
Lionel Hutz

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Private schools = smarmy rich kids who have no exposure to the real world.
Public schools = kids who know how to fucking fend for themselves.


How can you honestly put either "type" of school in a category and compare it to another type? Public schools are run by a number of states and each of those states has a number of districts. Private schools are even harder to categorize. Some private or charter schools are just as poor as inner city public schools.

Yeah, private schools don't breed street knowledge, and street knowledge is something that's priceless.

No school teaches "street knowledge'. So called street knowledge is acquired by living on the street. Public schools aren't teaching this "knowledge" either.
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#12
Shade

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Don't feed the troll guys! :smoking:

#13
AHuman

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How can you honestly put either "type" of school in a category and compare it to another type? Public schools are run by a number of states and each of those states has a number of districts. Private schools are even harder to categorize. Some private or charter schools are just as poor as inner city public schools.


No school teaches "street knowledge'. So called street knowledge is acquired by living on the street. Public schools aren't teaching this "knowledge" either.


Meh, the argument isn't really serious dude, it's more an observation that if I had to pick a side to win it wouldn't be the posh private school kids.

#14
aaronman

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Meh, the argument isn't really serious dude, it's more an observation that if I had to pick a side to win it wouldn't be the posh private school kids.


In a physical fight? Well the private schools buy their athletes, so....

#15
Lionel Hutz

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Don't feed the troll guys! :smoking:

hehe, sorry. It's hard when they beg...

:)

#16
AHuman

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In a physical fight? Well the private schools buy their athletes, so....


Over there maybe, here athletics isn't such a big thing. Even so, somehow methinks athletics is a poor defense mechanism against some crazy poorboy motherfucker charging you with a broken bottle and a body/mind hardened in that special little way that only poverty and a life of abuse can give. :D

But seriously, this detracts from the real argument, which I frankly can't be fucked entering into. Thus, don't let me and my trolling stop you - argue on!

#17
smokinp

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Edited by smokinp, 19 February 2010 - 10:53 AM.


#18
Nokturnal420

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Capitalism breeds unemployment and thus poverty, public schools need to be an option.

#19
Shade

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Of course it was not free..
The taxpayer paid for it..


Nokturnal's 'advanced' schooling apparently didn't make that known to him.

Private schools are for elitist parents to send their kids so they dont have to mix with the common working classes..
Do away with public schools and you would end up with the rich kids having the best teachers and facilities while the families that could not afford it would end up with a much poorer education for their kids..


Yeah, those terrible rich elitist yuppies in third world slums, let me tell you...

That's right. In the worst slums, private for-profit schools educate kids better than the government's schools do.

Tooley finds as many as six private schools in small villages. "The majority of (poor) schoolchildren are in private school, and these schools outperform government schools at a fraction of the teacher cost," he says.

Why do parents with meager resources pass up "free" government schools and sacrifice to send their children to private schools? Because, as one parent told the BBC, the private owner will do something that's virtually impossible in America's government schools: replace teachers who do not teach.


:rolleyes: See the problem with your contention is that it doesn't take into consideration a key aspect: reality.

And anyone who questions is labeled a troll now ???


No.

Capitalism breeds unemployment and thus poverty, public schools need to be an option.


How does capitalism breed unemployment and poverty?

How do you reconcile your contention with the report? Did any of you actually read the report? Because everything you're spouting is in contrast to what the report has found.

#20
iskander323

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Yeah, those terrible rich elitist yuppies in third world slums, let me tell you...

:rolleyes: See the problem with your contention is that it doesn't take into consideration a key aspect: reality.

How do you reconcile your contention with the report? Did any of you actually read the report? Because everything you're spouting is in contrast to what the report has found.


I think the point smokinp was making is that if all schools were privatised those frequented by the rich elite would (because of higher tuition costs) have more money available to them.
It in hardly a stretch of the imagination to assume the best teachers would be in those schools as the majority of people want a better wage and working conditions. To carry that idea forward would mean poorer schools get less capable teachers in scale with their budget and and less resources to teach which would lead to further social stratification.

While you quote how privatised schools in african slums are better than state equivalents this hardly addresses the point made.

The UK is currently experimenting with privatised acadamies and the system seems to be working well in the inner cities but even there the teachers themselves are saying that to really improve schools we need to start teaching to ability. The more advanced students can learn at a faster pace but more in depth and those less capable still get a good standard of education.
Sadly govenment listens to experts more than the people on the ground who are doing the actual teaching so the message is slow getting through.

There is one case which is a cause for worry in the UK where a creationist has backed and funded one of these acadamies and there is a lot of concern as to the quality of teaching of 'hard science' in that case.
Transfer that to the US and you are going to get a lot of religious schools where biology and physics classes are taught with religious bias and current knowledge surpressed.

Edited by iskander323, 19 February 2010 - 07:39 PM.





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