Advancing a Free Society

The Voucher Revolution in Education

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This essay blends prediction with prescription to paint a vivid picture of what American education will look like in 2030. The essay is from an online publication of the Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, American Education in 2030. Copyright, Board of Trustees, Stanford University.

To be clear, a voucher, as the term is used here, is a publicly or privately funded scholarship awarded directly to families to pay the costs of the private schools they choose for their children. By 2030, vouchers will have displaced failing public schools, which have long yielded poor results at high costs and have monopolistically confined children to a failing system. Although based largely on facts established by 2010, this essay provides an admittedly speculative account of the rising prevalence of vouchers from the present through 2030 from the hypothetical perspective of 2040.

Because families know best and care most about their children, parents used vouchers to choose the right schools for their children. With vouchers, parents could choose their children’s schools just as they chose their children’s names, food, doctors, and much else. No longer could competing federal, state, and local government officials decide what’s best for students.

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