Sunday, March 30, 2014

Poverty Doesn't Cause Bad Education

Marie Corfield has consistently beaten the drums in defense of the coercive government school establishment, and her most recent letter, School Choice is not the Answer, is no different.

In this case, she blames poverty for failing schools:

But fixing poverty doesn’t turn a profit [the Industrial Revolution? It apparently didn't happen]. Otherwise, the giant corporations, hedge fund managers and billionaires who’ve funneled a steady stream of money into, and profits out of, one failed education reform scheme after another would have fixed it years ago.
The real choice is their ability to choose which children attend their schools and which get sent back to the underfunded public schools.

Get that? "School choice" means "giant corporations" choosing the children. What about the parents of those children? They blindly allow their kids to participate in "failed" education, which billionaires somehow "profit" from.

This is how statists view private citizens. I left these comments:

Translation: "'Poor' parents are too stupid and incompetent to know what's educationally best for their children."

The idea that poverty is the cause of failing schools is one of the most arrogant, utterly materialistic rationalizations for denying parents their right to search for alternatives to government schools for their children that I have encountered. (This view ignores the causes of poverty, but that is off-topic.)

School choice is precisely what's needed to empower the better low-income parents to search out new and effective educational options offered by private entrepreneurial educators. The Corfields and their ilk should stop trying to hold everyone down to the level of the worst parents and students.

I laid out a robust tax-credit based school choice proposal in The Objective Standard that would allow all parents the freedom to direct the spending of their education tax dollars to the school of their choice on behalf of the child of their choice, whether their own or others (See link below). Importantly, my proposal would open up the floodgates of philanthropic assistance to low-income parents concerned about a decent education for their children but whose tax credits are too small for they [who] themselves can't afford it.

All parents have a fundamental, inalienable right to direct the course of their own children's education and the spending of their own money. In particular, the opportunity for low-income families to get their children out of the worst government schools and into private schools—or at least charter schools—is a moral imperative of our time. What about "inequality"? Not all parents care about education, but those who do should not be chained to the level of those who don't.

Government school apologists have become the modern-day equivalents of George Wallace in reverse; They can be seen standing in the schoolhouse door, not to keep certain children out, but to keep all children trapped inside disastrous government schools.

It's time to pose these questions to these reverse-Wallaces: If government schools are so good, why do you have to force parents to send their children to them, and force them to pay for them? Why are you so afraid that, given the chance, they will not choose your government schools?

Tax credits, of course, are a step toward the final destination—a complete separation of school and government through a completely free market in education. In today's political environment, incremental reform, properly implemented, is the most viable approach toward that end. The same arguments and principles that support limited but genuine free market reforms also underpin a fully free market. It is in this way that free market reforms pave the way toward full freedom and individual rights in education, by exposing the public debate to these ideas.

Related Reading:

Is Education Incompatible With Business?

On Neo-George Wallaces Standing in the Schoolhouse Door, Keeping Children IN, rather than OUT

The Problem for Government School Apologists; American Ideals

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