The U.S. public school system has faced criticism for decades. Whether it’s school funding, curriculum controversies, debates over teacher compensation and tenure, or American students under performing when compared to other developed countries, there’s no shortage of discontent with the way things are.
Professor Kevin Currie-Knight asks, in a recent piece at FEE, why things have to be the way they are in the first place.
Why do we group students into classrooms based on age?
Why are curricula separated into separate subjects, instead of being taught together?
Why is the school day structured the way it is? Why have a two-month break in the middle of the year?
Questioning the current state of affairs in education is the first step to innovation and improvement. The best way to innovate, according to Currie-Knight, is to allow for more choices in schooling:
One could object, of course, that new alternative schools — with their different schedules of operation or different approaches to curricula — will get things wrong, to the detriment of students. Yes, some schools will try what ultimately fails. But unlike big centralized bureaucracies, businesses learn quickly from their failures and adapt — or they go broke. Contrast that process to the time it takes for government to abandon a program everyone knows isn’t working.
Unless you think the current school system is doing fine, the only way forward is through innovation, and innovation requires the sort of experimentation that happens naturally in the free market.
Still skeptical about school choice? Check out the video below, where Professor Angela Dills gives an overview of what you need to know about school choice.