The Teaching Elites Have Spoken

Even with extensive government involvement in the education sector, the spontaneous order of the marketplace has given private sector alternatives to education such as Khan Academy somewhat of a chance to compete with the current public education monopoly.

Andrew J. Coulson, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom,  is able to point out a damning quote from a feature story in Wired that vividly illustrates the culture of mediocrity instilled by public education:

Even if Khan is truly liberating students to advance at their own pace, it’s not clear that the schools will be able to cope. The very concept of grade levels implies groups of students moving along together at an even pace. So what happens when, using Khan Academy, you wind up with a kid in fifth grade who has mastered high school trigonometry and physics-but is still functioning like a regular 10-year-old when it comes to writing, history, and social studies? Khan’s programmer, Ben Kamens, has heard from teachers who’ve seen Khan Academy presentations and loved the idea but wondered whether they could modify it “to stop students from becoming this advanced.” 

This attitude is characteristic of a monopolized education system that serves the interest of the adults, namely, the teacher unions, administrators, and the educrats at the expense of the children. In order to break this elitist education structure, a free market in education must be allowed to flourish. Parents should be able to choose from private schools, religious schools, apprenticeships, homeschooling co-ops, and online education programs like Academic Earth and Khan Academy.

Unfortunately, education monopolists would rather train students to be cogs in the wheel, as opposed to independent thinkers and citizens. At the end of the day, the parents and students lose, while the bureaucrats pockets continue to fatten.

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