Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stossel Writes about Government Schools

John Stossel is a commentator we hear frequently on television, and he wrote an article about education that I think you might find interesting. He thinks we shouldn’t call public schools “public.” He thinks “government school” is a better name, and he thinks it’s one of the worst parts of America. He says that most services improve with time – they get faster, better, and cheaper. But not government monopolies; and government schools are rigid, boring, expensive, and they are monopolies. He calls them government schools because not much is public about them, members of the public don’t get to pick their kids schools, their teachers, their curriculum, or their cost. By contrast, he compares them with supermarkets, which we call private, yet they are open to anybody. You can stroll in 24 hours a day. Just try that with your kids’ public school; you might be arrested.

Now a school choice movement has given government schools a sliver of competition. Private schools, charter schools, vouchers, education tax credentials, and the website offer some kind of competition. Now not all of these alternatives work, but at least they are competition for the public schools. So far the alternatives reach only a small number of kids. Unions and bureaucrats don’t want competition, and they use their political clout to stifle it. But gradually they’re losing. After fighting homeschooling for years, they’ve stopped trying to ban it, and today’s homeschoolers fair better on tests and college admission. So some in the government monopoly claim that if your kids are homeschooled, they will not be properly socialized. But homeschooled kids participate in all sorts of social events with other homeschooling families, and they do just fine, somehow, without government control.

The public schools are always asking for more money, but if you compare them with private options, they are educating kids for a lot less money and doing a better job.

Listen to the radio commentary here:



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