Market Choice

Market choice has been getting a bad name recently. It has been promoted by people and groups whose real interest is to kill, not reform public education.

However, the market choice component of education has been a significant factor throughout human history. Trying to insulate public education entirely from market forces can lead to inertia and incompetence. The strong, even dangerous, medicine of market choice must be further, carefully, introduced. Citizens must be encouraged/required to consider K-12 and higher education as a market, in which the buyer must monitor the situation and exercise informed discretion. This can include school evaluation. Or buyers’ guides and related media that provide honest, frank information about the quality of instruction. Or the measured, careful introduction of objective standards and accountability, the obvious problem being that much that is important in education cannot be quantified. How to you measure a comment or intervention that sinks in, even if apparently rejected by a student, but which contributes to the student being a better citizen and person decades later?