Using the rules of economics, and assuming we must achieve universal post-secondary readiness, MN2020’s latest report, False Choices: Market-Driven Education Reform Doesn’t Work, demonstrates why free market thinking in education comes at a high price for students, parents and teachers.Michael Diedrich
The main problem, among many, is that school systems cannot function as free markets if we want to achieve universal post-secondary readiness. Free markets produce efficiency, not equity for all. Efficiency helps maximize profit, but what about students that aren’t profitable to educate?
As a result of competition-based thinking, many schools have focused on teaching-to-tests and advertising instead of broad based cognitive development that will provide students with the necessary skills to be successful in a 21st century workforce.
In moving Minnesota back toward a proven educational path, our latest report makes the following recommendations:
There is a place in education for efficiency, incentives, and innovation; however, policymakers must stop trying to achieve these competitive goals with a false, market-based approach.
Schools must adapt to achieve universal post-secondary readiness by focusing on initiatives that enhance teachers’ professional development and provide comprehensive teacher assessment and feedback.
Instead of using a false market-mentality as political cover to systematically defund schools, we must invest in education for the 21st century, using some of that investment to develop a comprehensive and fair teacher evaluation metric.
Charter schools have a place in the public education system as partners, not competitors, with traditional schools.