University of Chicago

Forget charter schools and vouchers — here are five business ideas school reformers should adopt

Forget charter schools and vouchers — here are five business ideas school reformers should adopt

Donald Trump never tires of reminding us that he is a businessman, and in Betsy DeVos, he has nominated a secretary of Education who endorses a business model for improving elementary and secondary schooling. The problem is, it’s the wrong model.

DeVos’ prescriptions include for-profit school management, taxpayer-funded vouchers to cover private school tuition and parental choice as the primary vehicle for regulation. Yet where such free-market remedies have been tried, they have yielded disappointing results.

The free-market model dates to an essay written by University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman in 1955. Friedman contended that the role of government in...

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