Koret Task Force Meeting

Thursday, February 10, 2000 to Friday, February 11, 2000
The Hoover Institution Stanford University, CA
7:45 a.m. Van available for transportation to the Hoover Institution
8:00 a.m. Breakfast (Lou Henry Hoover Building, Room 102)
8:15 a.m. John Chubb K-12 Structure, Federal Role, Privatization
9:00 a.m. Terry Moe Teacher Unions
9:45 a.m. Rick Hanushek Costs and Finance
10:30 a.m. Caroline Hoxby Students and Parents
11:15 a.m. Herb Walberg Achievement
12:00 p.m. Working Lunch
12:15 p.m. Diane Ravitch Philosophy and Schools of Education
1:00 p.m. Don Hirsch Curriculum
1:45 p.m. Chester Finn Teachers
2:30 p.m. Williamson Evers Standards and Accountability
3:15 p.m. Paul Hill "Public" Education
4:00 p.m. Paul Peterson Choice and Structural Reform
4:45 p.m. Adjournment
6:30 p.m. Reception (Stauffer Auditorium at the Hoover Institution)
7:00 p.m. Pre-dinner forum with Milton and Rose Friedman
8:00 p.m. Dinner
8:15 a.m. Van available for transportation to the Hoover Institution
8:30 a.m. Breakfast (Lou Henry Hoover Building, Room 102)
8:45 a.m. Paul Hill Broad strategy questions
9:15 a.m. Chester Finn/Paul Peterson Education Matters
9:45 a.m. Herb Walberg School Reform News
10:15 a.m. John Raisian Weekly Standard essays
Enlarging the Task Force
Book Publication
Next steps
11:00 a.m. Adjournment

"MARKET CAN ANSWER THE QUESTION" ON EDUCATION'S FUTURE Saying that "I think we should let the market answer the question," Nobel laureate Milton Friedman and his wife, Rose, expressed support of a market-based approach to education reform and choice when they spoke during a meeting of the Koret K–12 Education Task Force in February at Hoover.As part of the task force's February 10–11 meeting during which future plans and programs were discussed, the Friedmans answered questions posed by members of the task force during a dinner attended by representatives of the academic community and friends and supporters of the Institution. Friedman said he was honored to be with "11 of the most knowledgeable people in the country on the subject of education," referring to the Koret task force, as he noted that educational choice has been of concern to him over the past 45 years. Task force member Paul Peterson asked if Friedman thought it was proper for schools to make a profit, and Friedman responded, "If schools don't make a profit, they are bad for students. Profit and loss is the only way to weed out good schools from bad. How do they make a profit? Only by attracting enough students who feel it's worthwhile." The Friedmans both noted that although there is momentum for increased choice for consumers and that there are a number of options—vouchers, scholarships, charter schools—proliferating in cities across the United States, it is unclear whether they can be sustained. They said they feared that teacher unions and too many regulations imposed on new schools will kill the development of new kinds of educational ventures. Milton Friedman said he was not too concerned about what task force member Chester Finn termed "weirdo schools" and John Chubb called "schools of dubious merit" affecting the choice movement overall. "You have 'weirdo' schools now," Friedman said. "You have kids now who come out unable to write and read. The dropout rate is high. I think, again, that the market would weed them [such schools] out." Friedman also told those at the dinner that he sees the development of private education companies as encouraging and that private schools and alternative education programs need not require the same level of funding as current public schools. "You want to have as much information as you want and need in making a good decision about school choices, but I have great confidence in consumers to make good choices. It's no different than making a choice about buying a car or a house. Parents are pretty good about making decisions on their children's schools." Friedman commented that he did not believe that government regulation would be required for tax-funded private education alternatives. He also told the group that he thought the time when the need for universal public education was necessary in order to impart public mores to pupils had passed. He reiterated his faith in the development and sustainability of strong schools funded by alternative methods such as vouchers, which would give children and parents true choice in education. Members of the Koret K–12 Education Task Force are John Chubb, Williamson Evers, Chester Finn, Eric Hanushek, Paul Hill, E. D. Hirsch, Caroline Hoxby, Terry Moe, Paul Peterson, Diane Ravitch, and Herbert Walberg.

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