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Vouchers vs. school-to-work is the wrong question
6 January 2005 - Orange County Register

Dr. Ken Williams’ commentary on some of Governor Schwarzenegger’s education proposals made interesting reading. He rightly criticizes the governor and the California Performance Review for not even considering school vouchers. But then he defends the status quo against the CPR’s “School-to-Work” program.

Some parents, students, educators, and employers might agree with his conclusion – others will surely disagree. What this dichotomy makes obvious is that a one-size-fits-all education solution is neither the most effective, nor the most efficient. This is just one more reason to get the state (and the federal) government out of the business of education.

One set of private schools can cater to those “customers of the education industry” who are vocationally-minded, and compete with one another to be the best, while another set of customers, who seek a different kind of knowledge, can be served best by private college preparatory schools, which strive to be the best at preparing tomorrow’s graduate students. The free market’s division of labor is what drives innovation and productivity improvement in all sectors of the economy – it’s no less true of the education industry.

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