Dr. Currie-Knight is a Teaching Assistant Professor in East Carolina University’s College of Education, where he teaches classes about the psychological and social foundations of education. His research is interdisciplinary, ranging from the philosophy and history to the political economy of education.
His dissertation, From Laissez-Faire to Vouchers, is an intellectual history of the changing arguments free market libertarians have made over time regarding privatization of education. His scholarship has appeared in such journals as The Independent Review, Studies in Philosophy of Education, and shorter articles have appeared in The Freeman.
Think about how many different kinds of students there are in your local public school. Reading is a challenge for some and a breeze for others. Some students do well in a “traditional” classroom, and others would do better in “alternative” environments. We could go on and on. This is the single best argument for school choice: it accommodates diversity, allowing individual schools to offer different products and allowing families to find the one that best serves their needs. Usually, the focal question in the school choice debate is: does it work? To find out, researchers pore over performance
If you look at almost any negative article about school choice, it will probably use the word “profit” in a sneering tone. The suggestion is usually that private and charter schools care about profit over education. That seems to be the reason school-choice critic (and former US Assistant Secretary of Education) Diane Ravitch sure doesn’t like the idea of for-profit schools. And according to education advocate Steven Singer, “Public schools are designed to educate. Corporate schools are designed to profit.” Public schools are not for-profit enterprises. They receive federal, state,
School choice is all about giving consumers variety. But lo and behold, there are actually varieties of school choice. In some types of school choice (like open enrollment programs and charter schools) the government plays a big role. And in others (like voucher programs and education savings accounts) not so much. Here are the 5 common types of school choice, in order from most to least government involvement, with a description of how each works. #1 First, there are open enrollment programs, sometimes known as “public school choice.” This means that families can choose from many different
One argument often used to defend public schools and discourage school choice is that education is a “public good,” not a private one. Despite several attempts to dispel the idea that K-12 education meets the economic criteria for a public good, this trope is still kicking around. But what do people even mean when they say education is a public good? In a 2014 article titled “Education is a Public Good, Not a Private Commodity,” Australian writer Stewart Riddle argues that education creates public, and not purely private, benefits. He doesn’t deny that education produces private benefits
In an article called “Why Schools Aren’t Businesses,” a teacher is depicted challenging an ice cream company president on why schools can’t operate like ice cream companies. Ice cream companies, says the teacher, can send back ingredients that don’t meet their standards and can insist on only using the best ingredients they can afford. But schools, she says, do not have that luxury; they take the students they get. “We take them big, small, rich, poor, gifted, exceptional, abused, frightened, confident, homeless, rude, and brilliant... We take them all! Every one! And that, Mr. Vollmer,
School has nothing to do with freedom. First, there are state laws mandating that you have either attended school or have learned the very specific kinds of things you’d learn in school. That form of education is not a choice: it is legally compulsory. But schooling is culturally compulsory as well. That’s what Austrian philosopher and Roman Catholic priest Ivan Illich said. Illich was a critic of state education systems who, in 1970, wrote a now celebrated book called Deschooling Society, in which he boldly argued that, like the separation of church and state, we need a corresponding right
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