Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » FOOD FOR THOUGHT Jeffrey

    Filed at 7:30 am under by dcobranchi

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT Jeffrey Tucker makes some interesting points about high-stakes tests and the Soviet Union. He argues that the tests are causing schools to push out marginally-performing students in order to boost the schools’ aggregate results. But the real problem is that this is a government monopoly:

    Central planning has several universal features. It is coercive. It bypasses the needs of the consumers for the sake of politics. It relies on edicts which may or may not reflect reality. It does not take advantage of the price system, profit, or loss. It is impervious to change. It ignores local conditions. It does not permit flexibility according to circumstance. It robs those who know the most of the ability of make decisions and innovate. It creates incentives to obey the plan but diverts attention from the real goal, whatever it may be (and it may be the wrong goal). It ends up over utilizing material resources, underutilizing human ones, and not generating the intended results.

    According to Mr. Tucker, homeschoolers may have the solution.

    The whole subject of education and the institutions that support it needs to be rethought, away from the still-surviving Deweyite-Progressivist model and toward the ancient tradition of private tutoring now being revived in homeschools across America. All schools can learn from the experience of homeschools, with their attention to individual needs, the flexibility that allows students to develop in unique ways, their privately run and funded character, their employment of localized knowledge and resources. These are the elements that make for good institutions of all sorts, whether it is commercial businesses, charities, civic institutions, or schools.

    There’s more good stuff. Well worth a click.

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