One of the most important things we can do as a society is to make the opportunity for excellence in education available to all children in our country. But this is clearly not happening today, particularly in lower economic neighborhoods. If we wish to change this, the first thing we need to decide is whether the purpose of our educational system is to provide excellence in education, or to protect below-average teachers. Tragically, in most cases it appears that we have chosen the latter approach. But if we would choose excellence, our chances for it to be realized would be maximized by giving parents the liberty of choosing where the government money will be spent for the education of their children.
If that were to happen, virtually everyone would come out ahead, except below-average teachers and their unions. Children would receive excellence because, if a school did not perform, their parents would transfer them to another school that would. And this could be a public, private, religious, charter, military, or even vocational school. And if such a school did not exist in a particular neighborhood, and there were a funded demand, entrepreneurs would quickly fill the vacuum. Good teachers would also benefit because they would both be judged for educational results instead of restricted in their teaching methods, and be paid better because they would be in demand. And all of these results will be accomplished through the Liberty of choice.
(Next post: Enforcing Liberty through Contracts)
Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)