Thursday, January 04, 2007

Libertarian think tank on DCPS funding

Libertarian think take the Cato Institute has a few ideas for incoming District Mayor Fenty on how he can revitalize the District's education problems: Let the Money Follow the Student
Only by empowering parents to choose their children's schools can Mayor-elect Fenty achieve his goal of a quality education for every child. He should increase public school choices, lift the arbitrary cap on the number of charter schools allowed in DC, and expand the district's nascent but promising school voucher program.

Poor teaching quality, one of the District's worst problems, is exacerbated by public school administrators who prefer to hire education majors instead math and science majors, even though the latter make better teachers in their subjects. Giving parents the ability to choose which public schools get their money discourages these and other counterproductive practices, as Harvard economist Caroline Hoxby has found.
Will Fenty expand DC's public school choice options? Its doubtful. Fenty seems like the kind of person who wants to fix things by taking charge and getting his hands dirty (or at least appear to take charge and get his hands dirty), and that requires acquiring more control over the District's educational systems, not less.

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