Category Archives: Vouchers

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY What if the NFL Was Run Like the Government School System? October 4, 2011 by Dan Mitchell (with video from Milton Friedman)

Friedman & Sowell: Should Our School System Be Privatized?

Regular readers know that the two things that get me most excited are the Georgia Bulldogs and the fight against a bloated public sector that is ineffective in the best of circumstances and more often than not is a threat to our freedoms.

So you will not be surprised to know that I am delighted that former Georgia Bulldog star Fran Tarkenton (who also happened to play in the NFL) has a superb piece in the Wall Street Journal ripping apart the inherent inefficiency of government-run monopoly schools.

Here is the key passage.

Imagine the National Football League in an alternate reality. Each player’s salary is based on how long he’s been in the league. It’s about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he’s an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player’s been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct. Let’s face the truth about this alternate reality: The on-field product would steadily decline. Why bother playing harder or better and risk getting hurt? No matter how much money was poured into the league, it wouldn’t get better. In fact, in many ways the disincentive to play harder or to try to stand out would be even stronger with more money. Of course, a few wild-eyed reformers might suggest the whole system was broken and needed revamping to reward better results, but the players union would refuse to budge and then demonize the reform advocates: “They hate football. They hate the players. They hate the fans.” The only thing that might get done would be building bigger, more expensive stadiums and installing more state-of-the-art technology. But that just wouldn’t help.

This sounds absurd, of course, but Mr. Tarkenton goes on to explain that this is precisely how government schools operate.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the NFL in this alternate reality is the real-life American public education system. Teachers’ salaries have no relation to whether teachers are actually good at their job—excellence isn’t rewarded, and neither is extra effort. Pay is almost solely determined by how many years they’ve been teaching. That’s it. After a teacher earns tenure, which is often essentially automatic, firing him or her becomes almost impossible, no matter how bad the performance might be. And if you criticize the system, you’re demonized for hating teachers and not believing in our nation’s children. Inflation-adjusted spending per student in the United States has nearly tripled since 1970. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, we spend more per student than any nation except Switzerland, with only middling results to show for it.

Actually, I will disagree with the last sentence of this excerpt. We’re not even getting “middling results.” Here’s a chart from an earlier post showing that we’ve gotten more bureaucracy and more spending but no improvement over the past 40 years.

So what’s the solution to this mess? Well, since government is the problem, it stands to reason that competition and markets are the answer.

Sweden, Chile, and the Netherlands are just some of the countries that have seen good results after breaking up state-run education monopolies.

Watch this video to get more details.

Economics 101: School Choice Example Shows Why Government Monopolies Are Bad

 

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE “The Tyranny of Control” Transcript and Video (60 Minutes)

Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE “The Tyranny of Control” Transcript and Video (60 Minutes) In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 7 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “I’m not pro business, I’m pro free enterprise, which is a very different thing, and the reason I’m pro free enterprise”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 6 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “We are the ones who promote freedom, and free enterprise, and individual initiative, And what do we do? We force puny little Hong Kong to impose limits, restrictions on its exports at tariffs, in order to protect our textile workers”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 5 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “There is no measure whatsoever that would do more to prevent private monopoly development than complete free trade”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 4 of 7 (Transcript and Video) ” What we need are constitutional restraints on the power of government to interfere with free markets in foreign exchange, in foreign trade, and in many other aspects of our lives.”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 3 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “When anyone complains about unfair competition, consumers beware, That is really a cry for special privilege always at the expense of the consumer”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 2 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “As always, economic freedom promotes human freedom”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 1 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “Adam Smith’s… key idea was that self-interest could produce an orderly society benefiting everybody, It was as though there were an invisible hand at work”

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 654) “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 7 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “I’m not pro business, I’m pro free enterprise, which is a very different thing, and the reason I’m pro free enterprise”

Open letter to President Obama (Part 654) (Emailed to White House on July 22, 2013) President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 650) “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 6 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “We are the ones who promote freedom, and free enterprise, and individual initiative, And what do we do? We force puny little Hong Kong to impose limits, restrictions on its exports at tariffs, in order to protect our textile workers”

Open letter to President Obama (Part 650) (Emailed to White House on July 22, 2013) President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you […]

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY We got to give Milton Friedman’s voucher system a chance!!!

We got to give Milton Friedman’s voucher system a chance!!!

Happy Birthday, Milton Friedman: Champion of Educational Freedom

July 31, 2013 at 11:30 am

Newscom

Newscom

On the late, great, Nobel Prize–winning economist Milton Friedman’s 101st birthday, it is fitting to remember his legacy of school choice and continue the fight for educational opportunity he left for us.

“A stable and democratic society is impossible without widespread acceptance of some common set of values and without a minimum degree of literacy and knowledge on the part of most citizens. Education contributes to both,” Friedman once remarked.

Friedman knew that education is essential for a free society to flourish, but he understood that government-administered schooling is not the way to achieve quality educational options for all children.

Friedman was the father of the educational choice movement, which he first conceived through the idea of school vouchers. The Friedman philosophy of education promotes educational opportunity where parents are free to choose an education that best meets the needs of their children, with money following the children to any schools of their choice: public, private, charter, virtual, or home school.

Choice releases children from government-run schools assigned to them based on their parents’ zip codes. Options such as vouchers empower parents to choose better alternatives for their children’s education. Choice improves the amount of educational options available to families and promotes competition, applying economic pressure that can lead to better performance in the public system as well.

Friedman knew that educational choice is a win-win solution for everyone.

Friedman’s legacy of educational choice continues to expand. Several states now have a plethora of educational options: school vouchers, tax credits, charter schools, online learning, and education savings accounts (ESAs).

ESAs have especially refined Friedman’s original concept of a school voucher. A family with an ESA can use 90 percent of the per-child amount of state funds that would have gone to the child’s assigned public schools to instead be deposited directly into an ESA in the child’s name. The money in the savings account follows the child and can be used by parents to finance a variety of education-related services and providers. They can, for example, use their ESA funds to pay for private school tuition, online learning, special education services, and educational therapies—all while saving taxpayer money. It is an educational option that would have made Friedman proud.

Although educational freedom continues to grow, there are still millions of children around America stuck in low-performing schools.

Friedman understood that vouchers are only a means to educational freedom:

The purpose of vouchers is to enable parents to have free choice, and the purpose of having free choice is to provide competition and allow the educational industry to get out of the 17th century and get into the 21st century and have more innovation and more evolvement.

In 2013, America faces a fork in the road: One direction is toward educational freedom; the other is toward increased centralization through one-size-fits-all efforts such as the Common Core national standards.

In honor of Friedman’s birthday, we must rededicate ourselves to the unfinished task remaining before us, the true end of his philosophy of educational choice: educational freedom in America.

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Milton Friedman discusses Voucher System

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

Published on Sep 4, 2012 by

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

“The Machine” is 4:17 minutes.

Written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit http://www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.

________________

Milton Friedman: Education (Part One)

If you want to change this nation in a big way then you will at the fact that in the last 40 years we have increased our educational spending every year and our test scores have dropped. The problem is not money but education competition. We don’t need to spend over $29,000 per kid in the Washington D.C. district when we could give vouchers out (under $9000 per kid) and have better results. Take a look at this article from Milton Friedman.

Milton Friedman on Vouchers

CNBC interview, March 24, 2003.

Michelle: you are the grandfather of school vouchers do you feel victorious?

Mr. Friedman: Far from victorious, but very optimistic and hopeful. We are at the beginning of the task because as of the moment vouchers are available to only a very small amount of children. Our goal is to have a system in which every family in the U.S. will be able to choose for itself the school to which its children go we are far from that ultimate result. If we had that a system of free choice we would also have a system of competition, innovation which would change the character of education. You know our educational system is one of the most backwards things in our society in the may we teach people they did 200 years ago there is a person in the front of the room there are children sitting down at the bottom and they are being talked to can you name any other industry in the U.S. which is as technologically backward I can name one and only one..the legislature for the same reason. Both are monopolies the elementary and secondary school system is the single most Socialist industry in the U.S. leaving aside the military, but aside from the military its a major socialist industry, it is centralized and the control comes from the center and the difficulty of having a monopoly in which people cannot choose has been exacerbated by the fact that it has been largely taken over by teachers unions, the national education association and the american federation of teachers and the unions. Understandably I do not blame them but they are interested in the welfare of their members not the welfare of the children and the result is they have introduced a degree of rigidity which makes it impossible to reform the public school system from within. Reform has to come through competition from the outside and the only way you can get competition is by making it possible for parents to have the ability to choose.

Michelle: Give to me a model, an example of how it would work

Mr. Friedman: Very simple, take the extreme the government says we are willing to finance schooling for every child. The government compels children. If you look at the role of government in education there are 3 different levels there is a level of compulsory the government says every child must go to school until such and such and age. That is the equivalent of saying if you are going to drive a car you must have a license. The second stage is funding not only do we require you to have an education but the government is willing to pay for that schooling. That would be equivalent to saying the government is willing to pay for your car that you drive. The third level is running the educational industry that would be the equivalent of the government manufacturing the automobile or to put it in a different image consider food stamps today. Food stamps are funds provided by the government but if that were to be runned like the schools they would say everybody has to use these food stamps at a government grocery and each person with food stamps is assigned to a particular government grocers so the only way you can get your food stamps is by going to that grocer do you think those groceries would be very good? We know what the situation is in schooling people say why now and not 50-75 years ago? Well, when I went to high school t hat was a long time ago in the 1920s there were a 150,000 school districts in the U.S and the population was half what it is now. Today, there are fewer than 15,000 school districts. So it used to be that you really did have competition cause you had small school districts and parents had a good deal of control over those school districts, but increasingly we have shifted to very large school districts, to centralized control, to a system in which the governmental officials in which the educational professionals control it and like every socialist industry it produces a product that is very expensive and of very low quality. Of course it is not uniform there are some very good schools do not misunderstand me, but there are also some very bad ones.

Michelle: I interviewed some folks who are against school vouchers and they say that if you really want to help out a school what you should do is provide high quality early childhood education, small classes, small schools, summer school available to children who want it. Put money to those items which they claim would work.

Mr. Friedman: They don’t, we have been doing that. The amount of money spent per child adjusted for inflation has something like doubled or tripled over the last 20 years. Twenty years ago we had this report A Nation at Risk that pointed out all of the difficulties I just referred to and which pointed out this was a first generation that was going to be less schooled then its parents. We are now in the next generation and will be even less well schooled. We have had every possible effort you could have from reform from within. It is not just in schools it is in any area reform has to come from outside it has to come from competition. Let me illustrate that from within the school system. the united states from all accounts ranks #1 in higher education people from all over the world regard the United States colleges and universities the best and most varied. On the other hand in every other international comparison we rank near the bottom in elementary and secondary education why the difference?…one word..choice. The elementary and secondary education the school picks the child it picks its customer. In higher education the customer picks its school, you have choice that makes all the difference in the world. It means competition forces product. Look over the rest of the economy is there any area in the u.s. in which progress has not required progress from the outside. Look at the telephone industry when it was broken down into the little bells and opened up the competition it started a period of rapid innovation and development the key word is competition and the question is how can you get competition. only by having the customer choosing.

Michelle: There is concern that money is going to religious schools. That the majority of the students in voucher programs that exist use them to attend schools with religious affiliation?

Mr. Friedman: Why? Because the vouchers are so small in some cases. It is true that of the private schools in the u.s the great bulk of them are religious. that is for one simple reason here is someone selling something for nothing somebody down the street is giving away chocolate and you want to get into the business of selling chocolate that is kind of tough isn’t it here at schools children can attend them they are not free they are paying for it in the form of taxes but there is no specific charge for going to that school somebody else is going to offer it. The churches, the religious organizations have had a real advantage in that they were the only ones around who were in a position to subsidize the education and keep the fees down low. If you open it wide the most recent case was Ohio, cleveland case. The voucher that they had had a max value of $2,500 now it is not easy to provide a decent education at $2,500 and make money at it make it pay at the same time the state of Ohio was spending something like over $7,000 per child on schooling if that voucher had been $7,000 instead of $2,500 I have no doubt that there would have been a whole raft of new private, non-profit both profit and non-profit schools. That is what has happened in Milwaukee. Milwaukee has a voucher system and today the fraction of the voucher users in Milwaukee going to religious schools is less than the fraction going to religious schools was before this system started because there have been new schools developed and some of them have been religious but many of them are not. In any event, the Supreme Court has settled that issue they have said that if it is the choice of the parent if there are alternatives available there are government schools, charter schools, private non-denominational schools, private denominational schools so long as the choice is in the hands of the parent that is not a violation of the 1st amendment.

Michelle: You have a friend and an ally in the White House when it comes to vouchers

Mr. Friedman: I should say. Mr. Bush has always been in favor. He is in favor of free choice. Remember vouchers are a means not an end the purpose of vouchers is to enable parents to have free choice and the purpose of having free choice is to provide competition and allow the educational industry to get out of the 17th century and get into the 21st century and have more innovation and more evolvement. There is no reason why you cannot have the same kind of change in the provision of education as you have had in industries like the computer industry, the television industry and other things.

Michelle: Is it refreshing to have a President that, Bill Clinton was firmly against vouchers.

Mr. Friedman: No, it is a case of circumstances when he was Governor of Arkansas he was not against vouchers. He was in favor, but when he became President he came out against vouchers. I should say he did not oppose vouchers as Governor and he did as President and that was for political reasons. People don’t recognize how powerful politically the teachers unions are. Something like a quarter of all the delegates at the democratic national convention are from the teachers union. They are probably the most powerful pressure group in the U.S… very large funds, very large number of people and very active politically.

Michelle: We talk in the office about how President Bush has some very Friedmanesq ideas.

Mr. Friedman: They are not freidmanesq they are just good ideas. I hope that is true anyway. I think very highly of President Bush and I think in these areas don’t misunderstand me that is not a blanket statement there are some things he has done that I disagree with, but taken as a whole he has been moving in the right direction of trying to move toward a smaller more limited government trying to provide more freedom and more initiative in all areas. His philosophy on Medicare is the same as his philosophy in schools.

Michelle: Is that refreshing?

Mr. Friedman: It is an interesting thing, if you look at the facts the one area the area in which the low income people of this country, the blacks and the minority are most disadvantaged is with respect with the kinds of schools they can send their children to. The people who live in Harlem or the slums or the corresponding areas in LA or San Francisco they can go to the same stores, shop in the same stores everybody else can, they can buy the same automobiles, they can go to supermarket but they have very limited choice of schools everybody agrees that the schools in those areas are the worst they are poor. Yet, here you have a Democrat who allege their interest is to help the poor and the low income people here you have to take a different point every poll has shown that the strongest supporters of vouchers are the low income blacks and yet hardly a single black leader has been willing to come out for vouchers there were some exceptions Paul Williams in Milwaukee who was responsible for that…and a few others

Michelle: Why do you think that is?

Mr. Friedman: For obvious reasons, political. It has been to the self interest to the leaders the school system as long as its governmental its a source of power and jobs to hand around and funds to dispose of. If it is privatized that disappears and the other aspect of it is the power of the teachers unions. Right now those of us that are in the upper income classes have freedom of choice for our children in various ways we can decide where to live and we can choose places to live that have good schools or we can afford to pay twice for schooling once by taxes and once by paying tuition at a private school. It seems to me utterly unfair that those opportunities should not be open to everybody at all levels of income. If you had a system the kind I would like to see the government would say we require every child to get a certain number of years of schooling and in order to make that possible we are going to provide for every parent a voucher equal to a certain number of dollars which they can use only for schooling can’t use it for anything else. They can add to it, but they cannot subtract from it. Those will be those can be used in government schools let the government run the school but force them to be in competition so that all government schools charge tuition, but can be paid for by that voucher but that same voucher can also be used in private schools of all kinds and then you would have an open the teachers union complained and they insist they are doing a good job. if they are doing a good job then why are they so afraid of some competition?

Copyright: MSNBC, Inc. 2003

Milton Friedman On Education (Part Six)

Uploaded by on Sep 2, 2007

Milton Friedman on education.
freetochoose.com

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The Milwaukee school choice program increased academic performance, graduation rates and college enrollment and was half the cost per pupil!

 

The Milwaukee school choice program increased academic performance, graduation rates and college enrollment and was half the cost per pupil!

February 25, 2014 9:01AM

Pounding the Table, Not the Facts, on School Choice

            By   Jason Bedrick

There’s an old legal proverb about how to win a court case: “If the law is on your side, pound the law. If the facts are on your side, pound the facts. If neither is on your side, pound the table.” In this factually-challenged attack on school choice, two lawyers at the UNC Center for Civil Rights do a great deal of table pounding.

Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, the lawyers charge that school choice programs don’t work and that they increase racial segregation. For example, they claim:

…in states with [school choice] programs, student achievement at the private schools is no better, and often worse, than in the public schools. In fact, in Milwaukee and Cleveland, whose voucher programs are the country’s longest running, traditional public school students outperform voucher students on available proficiency measures.

Even read in the most charitable light, the lawyers misleadingly compare apples and orangutans. Participants in school choice programs are generally more disadvantaged than the general population, so it is absurd to compare their average performance against the general population, which includes all the students in wealthy “public” school districts (where low-income parents have been arrested for trying to enroll their kids). Government school advocates rightly object when someone compares average private school performance to average government school performance. The private schools outperform government schools on average, but because both parents and the private schools select each other, the comparison breaks down. The same is true here.

A meaningful comparison requires a randomized-controlled trial, which is the gold standard of social science research because the process of randomization allows researchers to compare like against like and to isolate the effect of the “treatment” (in this case, the offer of a school choice scholarship). Fortunately, there have been 12 such studies addressing this very question from highly-respected institutions like Harvard University and the Brookings Institution. Eleven found that school choice programs lead to positive student outcomes, including higher academic performance and higher rates of high school graduation and college matriculation. One study found no statistically significant difference and none found a negative impact.

 

These studies include evaluations of the Milwaukee and Cleveland school voucher programs that the lawyers falsely claimed were underperforming vis-a-vis government schools. In fact, a longitudinal study of the Milwaukee program found that it increased academic performance, graduation rates, and college enrollment (and did so at about half the cost per pupil):

“Students enrolled in the Milwaukee voucher program are more likely to graduate from high school and go to college than their public school counterparts, boast significantly improved reading scores, represent a more diverse cross-section of the city, and are improving the results of traditional public school students,” said the study’s press release.

“Among the new findings are that students enrolled in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP)—the nation’s oldest private school choice program currently in operation—not only graduate from high school on time by seven percentage points more than students enrolled in Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), but they are also more likely to enroll in a four-year college and persist in college.”

In other words, the lawyers’ assertion that the achievement of school choice students is “is no better, and often worse” is flat out false. It’s not possible to state with any certainty where they’re getting their faulty information (quite possibly the usual suspects), but President Obama made similarly false claims in a recent TV interview, prompting prominent researchers including of Paul E. Peterson of Harvard University and Patrick Wolf of the University of Arkansas to correct the record:

The faulty empirical claims about the effectiveness of school choice programs were bad enough, but the lawyers’ greater offense was cynically raising the specter of racial segregation:

We also know the historical links between racism and private schools. In 1964, 83 private schools enrolled approximately 9,500 students in N.C. But from 1968 to 1972 – when advocates and the federal government began to enforce meaningful school desegregation – the state jumped from 174 private schools and 18,000 students, to 263 schools and over 50,000 students. Surging enrollment in non-public schools was often concentrated in areas with high concentrations of African-American students , and the segregative legacy of these private schools and academies continues to this day:

Bertie County is 62 percent African American. Lawrence Academy was founded in Bertie County in 1968. Its student body is 98 percent white.

Halifax County is 53 percent African-American. Halifax Academy and Hobgood Academy were both founded in 1969. Halifax Academy is 98 percent white; Hobgood Academy is 95 percent white.

Hertford County is over 60 percent African-American. Ridgecroft School, founded in 1968, is 97 percent white.

Northampton County is 58 percent African-American, but Northeast Academy, established in 1966, is 99 percent white.

First, it’s absurd to link the history of segregation solely to private schools when the public schools were segregated for over a century. This is especially absurd since inter-district segregation is now higher among government schools than 50 years ago.

Second, these anecdotes tell us absolutely nothing without context. It’s possible that these schools are illegally discriminating on the basis of race, but it’s also possible that this merely reflects the fact that, under the status quo, wealthier whites are better able to afford private school than less wealthy blacks, which is exactly the inequity that NC’s school voucher program seeks to address.

It’s telling that the lawyers refrained from citing any of the empirical evidence on the matter:

Eight empirical studies have examined school choice and racial segregation in schools. Of these, seven find that school choice moves students from more segregated schools into less segregated schools. One finds no net effect on segregation from school choice. No empirical study has found that choice increases racial segregation.

Additionally, a recent study from the Louisiana Department of Education also found that the state’s school voucher program improves racial integration. More than 85 percent of the scholarship recipients in Louisiana are black. Likewise, school choice programs in other states disproportionately benefit minority students, including 81 percent of scholarship students in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 78 percent in Florida.

The lawyers concluded that it is “a twisted irony that the leaders of the voucher movement claim a racial justice rationale for their scheme.” In fact, the twisted irony is that an organization with the words “civil rights” in their title would work so hard to deprive minorities of the ability to choose the schools that work best for their own kids. They’re joined by other defenders of the government school monopoly who are suing to block North Carolina’s nascent school choice program. If these self-proclaimed “civil rights” lawyers really cared about racial justice, they would stop standing in the school house door.

 

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“Friedman Friday” Voucher System

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

Published on Sep 4, 2012 by

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

“The Machine” is 4:17 minutes.

Written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit http://www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.

________________

Milton Friedman: Education (Part One)

Milton Friedman on Vouchers

CNBC interview, March 24, 2003.

Michelle: you are the grandfather of school vouchers do you feel victorious?

Mr. Friedman: Far from victorious, but very optimistic and hopeful. We are at the beginning of the task because as of the moment vouchers are available to only a very small amount of children. Our goal is to have a system in which every family in the U.S. will be able to choose for itself the school to which its children go we are far from that ultimate result. If we had that a system of free choice we would also have a system of competition, innovation which would change the character of education. You know our educational system is one of the most backwards things in our society in the may we teach people they did 200 years ago there is a person in the front of the room there are children sitting down at the bottom and they are being talked to can you name any other industry in the U.S. which is as technologically backward I can name one and only one..the legislature for the same reason. Both are monopolies the elementary and secondary school system is the single most Socialist industry in the U.S. leaving aside the military, but aside from the military its a major socialist industry, it is centralized and the control comes from the center and the difficulty of having a monopoly in which people cannot choose has been exacerbated by the fact that it has been largely taken over by teachers unions, the national education association and the american federation of teachers and the unions. Understandably I do not blame them but they are interested in the welfare of their members not the welfare of the children and the result is they have introduced a degree of rigidity which makes it impossible to reform the public school system from within. Reform has to come through competition from the outside and the only way you can get competition is by making it possible for parents to have the ability to choose.

Michelle: Give to me a model, an example of how it would work

Mr. Friedman: Very simple, take the extreme the government says we are willing to finance schooling for every child. The government compels children. If you look at the role of government in education there are 3 different levels there is a level of compulsory the government says every child must go to school until such and such and age. That is the equivalent of saying if you are going to drive a car you must have a license. The second stage is funding not only do we require you to have an education but the government is willing to pay for that schooling. That would be equivalent to saying the government is willing to pay for your car that you drive. The third level is running the educational industry that would be the equivalent of the government manufacturing the automobile or to put it in a different image consider food stamps today. Food stamps are funds provided by the government but if that were to be runned like the schools they would say everybody has to use these food stamps at a government grocery and each person with food stamps is assigned to a particular government grocers so the only way you can get your food stamps is by going to that grocer do you think those groceries would be very good? We know what the situation is in schooling people say why now and not 50-75 years ago? Well, when I went to high school t hat was a long time ago in the 1920s there were a 150,000 school districts in the U.S and the population was half what it is now. Today, there are fewer than 15,000 school districts. So it used to be that you really did have competition cause you had small school districts and parents had a good deal of control over those school districts, but increasingly we have shifted to very large school districts, to centralized control, to a system in which the governmental officials in which the educational professionals control it and like every socialist industry it produces a product that is very expensive and of very low quality. Of course it is not uniform there are some very good schools do not misunderstand me, but there are also some very bad ones.

Michelle: I interviewed some folks who are against school vouchers and they say that if you really want to help out a school what you should do is provide high quality early childhood education, small classes, small schools, summer school available to children who want it. Put money to those items which they claim would work.

Mr. Friedman: They don’t, we have been doing that. The amount of money spent per child adjusted for inflation has something like doubled or tripled over the last 20 years. Twenty years ago we had this report A Nation at Risk that pointed out all of the difficulties I just referred to and which pointed out this was a first generation that was going to be less schooled then its parents. We are now in the next generation and will be even less well schooled. We have had every possible effort you could have from reform from within. It is not just in schools it is in any area reform has to come from outside it has to come from competition. Let me illustrate that from within the school system. the united states from all accounts ranks #1 in higher education people from all over the world regard the United States colleges and universities the best and most varied. On the other hand in every other international comparison we rank near the bottom in elementary and secondary education why the difference?…one word..choice. The elementary and secondary education the school picks the child it picks its customer. In higher education the customer picks its school, you have choice that makes all the difference in the world. It means competition forces product. Look over the rest of the economy is there any area in the u.s. in which progress has not required progress from the outside. Look at the telephone industry when it was broken down into the little bells and opened up the competition it started a period of rapid innovation and development the key word is competition and the question is how can you get competition. only by having the customer choosing.

Michelle: There is concern that money is going to religious schools. That the majority of the students in voucher programs that exist use them to attend schools with religious affiliation?

Mr. Friedman: Why? Because the vouchers are so small in some cases. It is true that of the private schools in the u.s the great bulk of them are religious. that is for one simple reason here is someone selling something for nothing somebody down the street is giving away chocolate and you want to get into the business of selling chocolate that is kind of tough isn’t it here at schools children can attend them they are not free they are paying for it in the form of taxes but there is no specific charge for going to that school somebody else is going to offer it. The churches, the religious organizations have had a real advantage in that they were the only ones around who were in a position to subsidize the education and keep the fees down low. If you open it wide the most recent case was Ohio, cleveland case. The voucher that they had had a max value of $2,500 now it is not easy to provide a decent education at $2,500 and make money at it make it pay at the same time the state of Ohio was spending something like over $7,000 per child on schooling if that voucher had been $7,000 instead of $2,500 I have no doubt that there would have been a whole raft of new private, non-profit both profit and non-profit schools. That is what has happened in Milwaukee. Milwaukee has a voucher system and today the fraction of the voucher users in Milwaukee going to religious schools is less than the fraction going to religious schools was before this system started because there have been new schools developed and some of them have been religious but many of them are not. In any event, the Supreme Court has settled that issue they have said that if it is the choice of the parent if there are alternatives available there are government schools, charter schools, private non-denominational schools, private denominational schools so long as the choice is in the hands of the parent that is not a violation of the 1st amendment.

Michelle: You have a friend and an ally in the White House when it comes to vouchers

Mr. Friedman: I should say. Mr. Bush has always been in favor. He is in favor of free choice. Remember vouchers are a means not an end the purpose of vouchers is to enable parents to have free choice and the purpose of having free choice is to provide competition and allow the educational industry to get out of the 17th century and get into the 21st century and have more innovation and more evolvement. There is no reason why you cannot have the same kind of change in the provision of education as you have had in industries like the computer industry, the television industry and other things.

Michelle: Is it refreshing to have a President that, Bill Clinton was firmly against vouchers.

Mr. Friedman: No, it is a case of circumstances when he was Governor of Arkansas he was not against vouchers. He was in favor, but when he became President he came out against vouchers. I should say he did not oppose vouchers as Governor and he did as President and that was for political reasons. People don’t recognize how powerful politically the teachers unions are. Something like a quarter of all the delegates at the democratic national convention are from the teachers union. They are probably the most powerful pressure group in the U.S… very large funds, very large number of people and very active politically.

Michelle: We talk in the office about how President Bush has some very Friedmanesq ideas.

Mr. Friedman: They are not freidmanesq they are just good ideas. I hope that is true anyway. I think very highly of President Bush and I think in these areas don’t misunderstand me that is not a blanket statement there are some things he has done that I disagree with, but taken as a whole he has been moving in the right direction of trying to move toward a smaller more limited government trying to provide more freedom and more initiative in all areas. His philosophy on Medicare is the same as his philosophy in schools.

Michelle: Is that refreshing?

Mr. Friedman: It is an interesting thing, if you look at the facts the one area the area in which the low income people of this country, the blacks and the minority are most disadvantaged is with respect with the kinds of schools they can send their children to. The people who live in Harlem or the slums or the corresponding areas in LA or San Francisco they can go to the same stores, shop in the same stores everybody else can, they can buy the same automobiles, they can go to supermarket but they have very limited choice of schools everybody agrees that the schools in those areas are the worst they are poor. Yet, here you have a Democrat who allege their interest is to help the poor and the low income people here you have to take a different point every poll has shown that the strongest supporters of vouchers are the low income blacks and yet hardly a single black leader has been willing to come out for vouchers there were some exceptions Paul Williams in Milwaukee who was responsible for that…and a few others

Michelle: Why do you think that is?

Mr. Friedman: For obvious reasons, political. It has been to the self interest to the leaders the school system as long as its governmental its a source of power and jobs to hand around and funds to dispose of. If it is privatized that disappears and the other aspect of it is the power of the teachers unions. Right now those of us that are in the upper income classes have freedom of choice for our children in various ways we can decide where to live and we can choose places to live that have good schools or we can afford to pay twice for schooling once by taxes and once by paying tuition at a private school. It seems to me utterly unfair that those opportunities should not be open to everybody at all levels of income. If you had a system the kind I would like to see the government would say we require every child to get a certain number of years of schooling and in order to make that possible we are going to provide for every parent a voucher equal to a certain number of dollars which they can use only for schooling can’t use it for anything else. They can add to it, but they cannot subtract from it. Those will be those can be used in government schools let the government run the school but force them to be in competition so that all government schools charge tuition, but can be paid for by that voucher but that same voucher can also be used in private schools of all kinds and then you would have an open the teachers union complained and they insist they are doing a good job. if they are doing a good job then why are they so afraid of some competition?

Copyright: MSNBC, Inc. 2003

Milton Friedman On Education (Part Six)

Uploaded by on Sep 2, 2007

Milton Friedman on education.
freetochoose.com

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 481) (Powerful Evidence for School Choice)

Open letter to President Obama (Part 481)

(Emailed to White House on 5-4-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

______________

Public schools need more competition and vouchers is the answer.

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I expressed pessimism a few days ago about the possibility of replacing the corrupt internal revenue code with a flat tax. Either now or in the future.

But that’s an exception to my general feeling that we’re moving in the right direction on public policy. I’ve shared a list of reasons to be optimistic, even on issues such as  Obamacare and the Laffer Curve.

Education is another area where we should be hopeful. Simply stated, it’s increasingly difficult for defenders of the status quo to rationalize pouring more money into the failed government education monopoly. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never has so much been spent so recklessly with such meager results.

That’s true regardless of whether Democrats are throwing good money after bad or whether Republicans are throwing good money after bad.

Fortunately, a growing number of people are realizing that the answer is markets and competition. School Choice CartoonThat’s one of the reasons why we’re seeing progress all over the country. Policy makers have implemented varying degrees of school choice in states such as Indiana, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, and even California.

Is this having a positive impact on educational outcomes and other key variables? The answer, not surprisingly, is yes.

Here are some of the details from a new study published by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

This report surveys the empirical research on school choice. …the empirical evidence consistently shows that choice improves academic outcomes for participants and public schools, saves taxpayer money, moves students into more integrated classrooms, and strengthens the shared civic values and practices essential to American democracy.

The data on academic outcomes surely is the most important bit of information, so let’s specifically review those findings.

Twelve empirical studies have examined academic outcomes for school choice participants using random assignment, the “gold standard” of social science. Of these, 11 find that choice improves student outcomes—six that all students benefit and five that some benefit and some are not affected. One study finds no visible impact. No empirical study has found a negative impact.

And since I want to reduce the burden of government spending, let’s see whether school choice is good news for taxpayers.

Six empirical studies have examined school choice’s fiscal impact on taxpayers. All six find that school choice saves money for taxpayers. No empirical study has found a negative fiscal impact.

Here’s the breakdown of the studies for all the variables.

School Choice Studies

As you can see, it’s a slam dunk, much as a survey of tax research found that nearly 90 percent of academic studies concluded that class-warfare tax policy is destructive.

Some of the tax research was inconclusive, but not a single study supported the notion that higher tax rates are good for growth, much as this new research from the Friedman Foundation didn’t uncover a single study that found negative results from school choice.

So with lots of positive research and no negative research, why would anybody oppose school choice? Unfortunately, politicians like Barack Obama and groups such as the NAACP side with teacher unions, putting political power ahead of progress and opportunity for kids.

P.S. Here’s a video explaining why school choice is better than a government-run monopoly.

P.P.S. There’s also strong evidence for school choice from nations such as Sweden, Chile, and the Netherlands.

_______________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions Published on Sep 4, 2012 by ReasonTV America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children. That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more […]

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The Empirical Evidence on School Choice

Milton Friedman on School Vouchers _______________ Just the facts Mam. APRIL 18, 2013 5:17PM School Choice Works By  JASON BEDRICK SHARE The evidence is in: school choice works. Yesterday, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice released their third edition of their report “A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice.” The report provides a literature […]

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(This letter was mailed before Oct 25, 2012.) President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on […]

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Everywhere school vouchers have been tried they have been met with great success. Why do you think President Obama got rid of them in Washington D.C.? It was a political disaster for him because the school unions had always opposed them and their success made Obama’s allies look bad. In 1980 when I first sat […]

Public school staffing has skyrocketed, we must turn to voucher system

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System (Q&A) Part 2 Published on May 7, 2012 by BasicEconomics __________ Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times Blog is always critical of the voucher system but has he taken a closer look at what has been going on in the public schools the last few decades with […]

Washington D.C. Voucher Program has been big success!!!!

Washington D.C. Voucher Program has been big success!!!!

D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program Celebrates 10 Years and Its Students’ Accomplishments

August 26, 2013 at 10:25 am

Now entering its 10th year, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), which provides vouchers to students from low-income families to attend a private school of their choice, has given access to better educational opportunities to children from more than 6,000 families in the District. Nearly 100 percent of the families who received the 2012–2013 scholarship would have been zoned for an underperforming school, but they were able to choose better alternatives for their children thanks to the OSP.

The OSP’s success is undeniable. More than 91 percent of OSP students graduate from high school, and more than 90 percent enroll in a two-year or four-year college or university. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Arkansas shows that OSP provides a 162 percent return on each taxpayer dollar invested in the program.

At a recent Heritage Foundation event, some of the inaugural recipients gathered to reconnect, celebrate the first OSP college graduate, and consider options for ensuring the program’s growth so that more D.C. students can access options that meet their unique learning needs.

Jordan White is the first college graduate out of the D.C. OSP program, graduating from Oberlin, May 2013. She is going to Japan to work in international relations.

Jordan White is the first college graduate out of the D.C. OSP program, graduating from Oberlin, May 2013. She is going to Japan to work in international relations.

Jordan White is the first college graduate out of the OSP. Graduating from Oberlin College in 2013, she was an OSP recipient from 2004 to 2009. Fresh out of college, she has accepted a job working in international relations in Japan where she will translate government documents from Japanese into English and vice versa:

I’ll be in a city called Kagoshima in the southern part of Japan, probably helping them set up more English-friendly tourism around the city, maybe giving English lessons or presentations about America.

This isn’t her first time in Japan, either. As a junior in college she studied abroad in Osaka. She says that without the Opportunity Scholarship Program she wouldn’t have the opportunities she has today.

Ronald Holassie is another OSP shining star. Ronald is entering his junior year at Florida International University. He was an OSP recipient from 2004 to 2011. As a communications major, Ronald says public speaking comes easy for him after testifying twice before Congress on behalf of the OSP.

Ronald Holassie (pictured right) is a D.C. OSP graduate and Junior at Florida International University. He is interested in entering into politics to continue fighting for programs like the D.C. OSP.

Ronald Holassie (pictured right) is a D.C. OSP graduate and junior at Florida International University. He is interested in entering into politics to continue fighting for programs like the D.C. OSP.

When asked whether he’d ever consider a career in politics, Ronald stated emphatically:

I’m considering that. A lot of my friends say, “You should run for office. You should get into politics.” [From] my work with the OSP and working with Virginia Walden Ford [who was instrumental in the program’s founding], I learned so much about how to advocate…. And I guess down in Florida, I kind of took that with me.… I really wanted to go to some place that’s very different, and Florida is! So when I was down there, I was able to learn a lot about the laws, the way the cities are run.

The OSP is oversubscribed with three applicants for every available scholarship. This year the number of applicants reached 1,500.

The success stories of Jordan and Ronald illustrate that children flourish when their parents can choose the educational option that best meets their individual needs. As Virginia Walden Ford says,

Educational options that give parents a chance to choose their children’s schools continue to expand across the nation. Such expansion shows the desire of mothers to see their children develop to their fullest potential.

A decade after its inception, one thing is clear: From Florida to Japan, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is taking students places.

Related posts:

Public schools need more competition and vouchers is the answer

Public schools need more competition and vouchers is the answer. Related posts: Powerful Evidence for School Choice April 22, 2013 by Dan Mitchell I expressed pessimism a few days ago about the possibility of replacing the corrupt internal revenue code with a flat tax. Either now or in the future. But that’s an exception to my […]

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Funding Government by the Minute

Published on Mar 28, 2012

At the rate the federal government spends, it runs out of money on July 31. What programs should be cut to balance the budget and fund the government for the remaining five months of the year? Cutting NASA might buy two days; cutting the Navy could buy fifteen. It seems that balancing the budget may require more than just cutting government programs. What should be done?

_____________

(Emailed to White House on 1-31-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

We need school choice and the voucher program that Milton Friedman envisioned.

Head Start: Another Costly Government Failure

January 24, 2013 by Dan Mitchell

What’s more realistic: A unicorn, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or a successful government program?

This isn’t a trick question. Even though I’ve presented both theoretical and empirical arguments against government spending, that doesn’t mean every government program is a failure.

I suppose the answer depends on the definition of success.

Government roads do enable me to get from Virginia to Washington every day. And the Post Office usually gets mail from one side of the country to another. By that standard, many government programs and activities yield positive results.

But if the question is whether government achieves anything in a cost-efficient manner, you’re probably better off searching under your bed for unicorns.

If you pose this question to someone on the left, however, don’t be surprised if they point to Head Start. The conventional wisdom in Washington is that this program gives low-income kids a critical leg up before they start school.

I would like this to be true. I may not be fond of big and bloated government, but the best interests of these kids are more important than my desire for a talking point against the welfare state.

So what does the evidence say?

Head Start CartoonHere’s what the Washington Examiner wrote about the program, starting with an explanation of what the program is supposed to accomplish.

There are few institutions more sacrosanct in Washington than President Johnson’s Head Start program. The federal government spent more than $7.9 billion on the program in 2012 alone to provide preschool services for nearly 1 million low-income Americans. The program represents everything that is supposedly great about the liberal welfare state. It redistributes resources from wealthy to poor. It uses the power of the federal government to combat inequality by giving poor and minority students an educational boost before they fall behind their wealthier peers. There’s just one problem: It doesn’t work.

Is that an empty assertion? Nope, it’s the evidence from the government’s own research.

The ongoing randomized study of Head Start was based on a nationally representative sample of 5,000 children who applied for the program in 2002. Approximately half of the subjects received Head Start services, while the other half did not. The students were then tested on their language, literacy, math and school performance skills. …the 2010 Head Start Impact Study report notes, “the benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by 1st grade for the program population as a whole.” Specifically, the language, literacy, math and school performance skills of the Head Start children all failed to improve. …Now, the HHS has finally published a follow-up to its 2010 study that follows the same children through the end of third grade. And again, the HHS has concluded that Head Start is ineffective, concluding that Heat Start resulted in “very few impacts … in any of the four domains of cognitive, social-emotional, health and parenting practices.” And those impacts that were found “did not show a clear pattern of favorable or unfavorable impacts for children.”

So what’s this costing the nation (above and beyond the failure to improve the lives of children)?

Since 1965, the federal government has spent $180 billion on Head Start. …Does that sound like a program you’d want to spend $8 billion on next year?

Now imagine the good things that would have happened if that money was left in the economy’s productive sector.

Or, if you like government, but at least want good results, imagine the good things that would have happened if state and local governments shifted $180 billion from the failed school monopoly into genuine school choice programs.

But let’s close on an optimistic note. As far as I know, there’s no evidence that Head Start actually damages children. It’s just wasted money.

That’s a much better track record than other welfare state programs.

___________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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Broun Introduces Balanced Budget Amendment Uploaded by RepPaulBroun on Feb 23, 2010 No description available. _______________ Dear Senator Pryor, Why not pass the Balanced  Budget Amendment? As you know that federal deficit is at all time high (1.6 trillion deficit with revenues of 2.2 trillion and spending at 3.8 trillion). On my blog http://www.HaltingArkansasLiberalswithTruth.com I took […]

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“Friedman Friday” Milton Friedman’s passion was to make a difference in the lives of young people

No one did more to advance the cause of school vouchers than Milton and Rose Friedman. Friedman made it clear in his film series “Free to Choose” how sad he was that young people who live in the inner cities did not have good education opportunities available to them.

Lindsey Burke

July 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Let us imagine we have the power to rebuild our education system from the ground up—an appropriate mental exercise as we remember the late Nobel Prize–winning economist Milton Friedman on his 100th birthday tomorrow.

If we could rebuild our education system from scratch, it’s unlikely we would create a system that assigns children to government-run schools based on their parents’ zip codes. After all, geography and income shouldn’t determine a child’s educational opportunity. If we rebuilt our education system to reflect Friedman’s philosophy, parents would be free to choose an education that best met their children’s needs, with money following the children to any schools of their choice: public, private, charter, virtual, or home school.

Friedman pioneered the idea of educational vouchers, and more than a half century later, that vision is taking hold at a rapid pace. State leaders across the country are making school choice a reality for hundreds of thousands of American families. In 2011 alone, 13 states enacted or expanded school choice programs, prompting The Wall Street Journalto deem 2011 “The Year of School Choice.”

Arizona enacted groundbreaking education savings accounts, Indiana created the largest voucher program in the country, and the highly success D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program was reauthorized.

While school choice momentum has been building dramatically in the last two years, most children still attend assigned public schools. For too many families, school choice remains out of reach.

Poor families are most affected by this lack of choice. As Friedman noted, “There is no respect in which inhabitants of a low-income neighborhood are so disadvantaged as in the kind of schooling they can get for their children.” It is a sad statement quantified by data on low levels of academic achievement and attainment.

In Denver, just 44 percent of students graduate. In Philadelphia, a mere 46 percent of students complete high school. And in Detroit, just 33 percent of children graduate.

And if they are persistent enough to graduate, what have they learned? Nine percent of Baltimore fourth-graders are proficient in reading. Just 11 percent of their eighth-grade peers can read proficiently. A devastating 7 percent of Cleveland fourth-graders are proficient in reading. In Detroit, just 6 percent can read proficiently.

These low levels of academic achievement and attainment aren’t confined to low-income students or urban school districts. Across the country, for all children, just one-third can read proficiently. Graduation rates have hovered around 74 percent since the 1970s, and math and reading achievement has been virtually flat over the same time period. On international assessments, American students rank in the middle of the pack, outperformed in math by the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Estonia.

Friedman had a strong belief in the power of markets to improve education, and he didn’t mince words about school choice: We will only see improvements in education, he said, “by privatizing a major segment of the educational system—i.e., by enabling a private, for-profit industry to develop that will provide a wide variety of learning opportunities and offer effective competition to public schools.”

That’s certainly going big on school choice. But what exactly did Friedman mean by “privatizing a major segment of the educational system”? Just because we have agreed to the public financing of education does not mean government should be the sole provider of that education and dictate where children go to school.

As we remember Friedman on his 100th birthday, we need to rethink what “public” education means, thinking instead in terms of educating the public, not in terms of government-run schools—that is, as publicly financed but operated by many different providers. If we consider public education in those terms, we can start to think through funding mechanisms at the state level that will bring about widespread school choice.

Today, we have a growing number of innovative school choice options—charters, vouchers, tax credits, online learning, and education savings accounts, to name a few. These options were conceived in the mind of Friedman and are being brought to life by reform-oriented governors and legislators across the country.

While these reforms have been a long time in the making, Friedman would no doubt be proud of the progress that has been made on school choice over the past few years. And thanks to his formational work, children across the country are increasingly gaining access to customized education that meets their unique needs.

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Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 9

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Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 8

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Testing Milton Friedman – Preview Uploaded by FreeToChooseNetwork on Feb 21, 2012 2012 is the 100th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s birth. His work and ideas continue to make the world a better place. As part of Milton Friedman’s Century, a revival of the ideas featured in the landmark television series Free To Choose are being […]

Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

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Free or equal? 30 years after Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (Part 1)

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Reason Magazine’s rightly praises Milton Friedman but makes foolish claim along the way

I must say that I have lots of respect for Reason Magazine and for their admiration of Milton Friedman. However, I do disagree with one phrase below. At the end of this post I will tell you what sentence it is. Uploaded by ReasonTV on Jul 28, 2011 There’s no way to appreciate fully the […]

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Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 1 of 2 Uploaded by PenguinProseMedia on Oct 25, 2011 Says Federal Reserve should be abolished, criticizes Keynes. One of Friedman’s best interviews, discussion spans Friedman’s career and his view of numerous political figures and public policy issues. ___________________ Two Lucky People by Milton and Rose Friedman […]

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Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 7

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Transcript and video of Milton Friedman on Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan (Part 1)

Below is a discussion from Milton Friedman on Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. February 10, 1999 | Recorded on February 10, 1999 audio, video, and blogs » uncommon knowledge PRESIDENTIAL REPORT CARD: Milton Friedman on the State of the Union with guest Milton Friedman Milton Friedman, Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution and Nobel Laureate in […]

Dan Mitchell’s article on Chili and video clip on Milton Friedman’s influence

Milton Friedman and Chile – The Power of Choice Uploaded by FreeToChooseNetwork on May 13, 2011 In this excerpt from Free To Choose Network’s “The Power of Choice (2006)”, we set the record straight on Milton Friedman’s dealings with Chile — including training the Chicago Boys and his meeting with Augusto Pinochet. Was the tremendous […]