Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Matthew Yglesias wrote in favor of universal education standards. I reponded:
"In the ideal, the quality of education a student receives should not be impacted by who his parents are or where he lives." This is exactly right. But your prescription, universal standards, is exactly wrong. There is no variety, dynamism, or competition need to improve or suvive changing conditions. Further, everyone wants to teach values to children, which leads to an argument over WHOSE vales get taught- those of the leftist ideologues in the teacher's unions, or the funimentalist Christians who periodically try to take over school boards.
Rather the solution is to give every parent the power to choose how their child will be educated. Well, I see here I am contradicting myself somewhat. If the parents had that power, the quality of the child's education obviously would depend on who their parents are, but only in a cognitive sense, not on their parents income, race, or location. The parents could chose the school that teaches their kids what and how they want their kids taught, and indoctrinates values the parents support. Every parent will want the best, and this competition will create universal improvement and diversity of approaches.
BTW: While I *respect* voucher programs as the only conservative intiative that is actually directly aimed at helping the poor, my favored method of parental choice is charter schools.