The Problem(s) with Public Education

From James Howard Kunstler’s “Eyesore of the Month” comes this gem:

Behold this brand new school in Las Vegas, Nevada: Hannibal Lecter Elementary. Is every child in this city a serial killer requiring maximum security incarceration during school hours? Golly, what happens when they let them out at three o’clock?

This institutional monstrosity alone should be enough reason not to support public education, but if you’d like a more detailed discussion, check out Andrew Young and Walter Block’s article, “Enterprising Education: Doing Away with the Public School System.” They address three major arguments I often hear in favor of public education:

  1. It is a necessary aspect of democracy and, paradoxically, the citizenry must be taxed for that system to secure their own freedom.
  2. The market would not provide an equal opportunity for and quality of primary education to everyone.
  3. Education is an example of an external economy; market provision would therefore be under optimal.

All three objections are ably answered by Young and Block here.

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