Sunday, February 1, 2015

K-12 Public School Education Should Not Be Marketable

Public Education Is So Important 
That It Should Not Be Left To the Marketplace
Libertarian, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, like Conservatives and Republicans, believes that if the business world were free to operate without regulation, we would have greater freedom of choice, including education. It’s the solution to our K-12 public school problem.

Paul is not alone. There are many who criticize the public school system, calling for the need to reform public education. They say privatization of public schools will provide parents with more education alternatives.

Like Paul, they believe a laissez-faire approach to education gives parents control over the education dollar. He says, “School officials will strive to meet parents’ demands that their children receive a quality education.

Paul acknowledges, “Schools should be accountable, but [asks] accountable to whom?”

Anyone, however, who believes the marketplace will meet a parent’s demands and be accountable to them over profit motives are being naïve.

Paul knows it, but the “public schools are failing” and the “need to reform” crowd beliefs are held under false assumptions. The need for reform is driven by those who wish to profit from what they see could be a very lucrative industry.
As educator Diane Ravitch explains, “’Reform’ is really a misnomer, because the advocates for this cause seek not to reform public education but to transform it into an entrepreneurial sector of the economy. The ‘reform’ movement is really a ‘corporate reform’ movement, funded to a large degree by major foundations, Wall Street hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs and the US Department of Education.”

K-12 public school education should not be for-profit. But without a change in public awareness, that’s exactly the direction public education is heading. If that happens, only those who can afford to pay and only those who have the academic ability to succeed will be accepted for enrollment in for-profit schools. But what happens to poor children and those who academically may need a helping hand.

Public education is worth our tax dollar investment. A parent paying a for-profit business for their child’s education, a business whose only interest is their bottom line, will not lead to a school system that provides a quality education for all children equally.

That’s why public schools in Finland are successful. Finland has achieved equality and excellence in education because they have constructed a publicly funded comprehensive school system

The real public school problem is our failure to get involved and support our public schools.

Copyright © 2015 Horatio Green