How does one draw a line between providing for the common social values required for a stable society on the one hand, and indoctrination inhibiting freedom of thought and belief on the other?
Friedman was an ardent proponent of school choice and less government interference in the American educational system.
He proposed the use of vouchers that would allow parents to use public money to pay for private school tuition in hopes that competition among schools would lead to increased student achievement and decreased education costs. Currently, 12 states and the District of Columbia provide state-funded school vouchers to qualifying students.
Proponents of vouchers say that when parents can choose where to send their child to school, they will choose the highest performing options:
Those schools performing poorly will be forced to either improve or risk losing students and the funding tied to those students. While public school choice policies like charter schools serve a similar purpose, private schools have more flexibility in staffing, budgeting, curriculum, academic standards and accountability systems than even charter schools. This flexibility, supporters argue, fosters the best environment for market competition and cost efficiency.
School choice through the use of vouchers seems like a viable option to help families avoid Common Core, but the government is requiring schools that accept voucher students to administer the official CCSS test, and homeschoolers will not be safe either:
Even in a state with as strong a voucher program as Indiana, the government requires schools accepting voucher students to administer the official test, which has opened the door wide to CCSS-style assessment. Thus will governmental creep dilute the liberating effect of school choice.
Nor will homeschooling parents be exempt if CCSS stands, because many states also require home educators to administer the official test. Even more insidious, Common Core lead writer David Coleman (formerly a testing consultant) now heads the College Board and has vowed to align the SAT with the nationalized standards. Thus any student—whether from public, private, parochial, or home school—will have to be Common Core-acclimated. (source)
History tells us that the biggest driver of innovation and technology – as well as the best reducer of costs – is free market competition:
Where do you find the highest performing schools in the English speaking world?- Alberta, Canada. They have School Choice specifically written into their constitution. Parents have the freedom to place their children in any school of their choice. Schools compete, standards rise, and costs are lowered. (source)
Common Core is much like Obamacare: the government keeps throwing more money at it (in the form of incentives for schools that accept the standards), the system hasn’t been tested or proven to work, a lot of people oppose the idea, and it interferes with free market choice and freedom.
In a 2003 interview, Friedman said:
The purpose of vouchers is to enable parents to have free choice, and the purpose of having free choice is to provide competition and allow the educational industry to get out of the 17th century and get into the 21st century and have more innovation and more evolvement. There is no reason why you cannot have the same kind of change in the provision of education as you have had in industries like the computer industry, the television industry and other things
In this classic video, Milton Friedman explains why parents are far better directors of their children’s education than bureaucrats.
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