Saturday, May 21, 2016

Laura Chapman on the Gospel of Milton Friedman | Diane Ravitch's blog

Laura Chapman on the Gospel of Milton Friedman | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Laura Chapman on the Gospel of Milton Friedman 

Lara Chapman has written a valuable analysis of the religious, libertarian case for school vouchers. Thank you, Laura, for doing this prodigious research for the benefit of everyone else.
Laura writes:
“Long post. The author of the Friedman Foundations for Educational Choice “research,” Dr. Greg Forster ends his report–titled “A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence On School Choice, Fourth Edition–with the following:
“Ultimately, the only way to make school reform work on a large scale is to break the government monopoly on schooling. The monopoly is not just one powerful obstacle to reform among many; it is what makes all the many obstacles as powerful as they are. The monopoly ensures that no meaningful accountability for performance can occur, except in rare cases as a result of Herculean efforts. The monopoly empowers a dense cluster of rapacious special interests resisting efforts to improve schools.
“Worst of all, the monopoly pushes out educational entrepreneurs who can reinvent schools from the ground up. Only a thriving marketplace that allows entrepreneurs to get the support they need by serving their clients better can produce sustainable innovation.
In any field of human endeavor—whether education, medicine, politics, art, religion, manufacturing, or anything else—entrepreneurs who want to strike out in new directions and do things radically differently need a client base.
“School choice has the potential to solve this problem by providing enough families (size) with enough dollars (strength) and enough choice (suffrage) to support educational entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, existing school choice programs fall short on all three dimensions. Only universal choice can open the door to the full-fledged revolution in schooling America needs in the new century. “ p. 36
“The author is preaching the gospel of the Friedman Foundation, but also a bit more. The author is a devoted believer in “universal choice,” evidently so religious schools can flourish and be tax-subsidized.
“I reach this conclusion from Forster’s discussion linking charters school programs to civic virtues and to religious values (pp. 30-31), and to his faculty position at Trinity International University a regionally accredited school operated by the Evangelical Free Church of America, headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois. His main job there seems to be serving as the director of the Oikonomia Network at the Center for Transformational Churches.
“The Oikonomia Network includes over 100 “theological educators theological educators and 18 evangelical seminaries” initially funded by the Kern Family Foundation. The network operations include a newsletter, website, network-wide events and “content creation.” The content creation includes “Theology that Works,” a paper written by Greg Forster that explains “how theology as a discipline can be in fruitful dialogue with the world of economic disciplines and activities.” More here.
“Forster also has a faculty post at Acton University, where his bio says that he “has a Ph.D. with distinction in political philosophy from Yale Laura Chapman on the Gospel of Milton Friedman | Diane Ravitch's blog:

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