Q: Vouchers or Smaller Classes? A: Yes!

Jan 13, 2014 by

Jay P. Greene – As usual, Little Ramona just can’t stop herself from pulling the trigger before taking the gun out of the holster.

With tremendous glee, she points out that a Friedman Foundation survey finds that more people respond positively to “smaller classes” than to vouchers. But as Friedman had already posted on their blog, there’s nothing surprising about that – “smaller classes” is an outcome everyone wants. On its face, the question whether you want smaller classes doesn’t involve any hard questions about costs or tradeoffs, nor the deeper question of who controls the decisions that determine what tradeoffs we make – parents or politicians.

My colleagues at Friedman are gently attempting to bring Little Ramona up to speed on logic 101. Prospects are not good. Meanwhile, this just in – water still flows downhill, bears still befoul the woods, and the pope is still Catholic. (Well . . . he is on his good days).

An additional point: while Little Ramona leaps to the conclusion that affirming small classes somehow implies a repudiation of vouchers, in fact the only realistic way to shrink classes would be a well-designed universal school choice plan that supports entrepreneurs with new school models. Small classes cost tons of money that we don’t have right now; school choice is by far the best-proven way to improve the cost-efficiency of education; a universal choice plan aimed at supporting educational entrepreneurs should be expected not only to deliver better academic results but to do so by destroying the huge inefficiencies created by Little Ramona’s newfound friends in the unions, thus freeing up resources to give parents what they want . . . like smaller classes.

Q: Vouchers or Smaller Classes? A: Yes! | Jay P. Greene’s Blog.

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