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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 10, 2005 / 8 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

The Voucher Market

By Bob Tyrrell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has found that reading scores among the nation's hapless middle-school students have shown little improvement over the past two years, remaining at the same dismal level where they have lingered since the early 1990s. Math scores have improved only slightly. This can not be good for the commonweal nor for the self-esteem of our nation's youth. I am told they even find prime-time television inscrutable. Even the more complicated lyrics of rap music mystify them.

Something has to change in the education of our elementary- and secondary-school pupils. If this were to happen, think of the enjoyment that they might derive from prime-time television's clever sitcoms. TV's public service advertisements about obesity and anger management might become accessible to them. Perhaps, our nation's universities could move on from providing average students with what in decades past was considered a high school education. A genuine college education would no longer terrify the "C" student.

To their credit public school administrators have been concerned about improving schools for years. They have increased funding until we now spend more per pupil in real dollars corrected for inflation than any other nation on earth. They have introduced new courses and brought in therapists. In some schools they have even brought in police officers, and I am told the schools in California provide various types of massage and even yoga. Nothing has yet worked aside from what are called "alternative schools," and even some of them quickly go downhill. One or two in Washington, D.C. were in danger of becoming terrorist camps until the authorities shut them down.

One alternative to public schools has worked well, though it could work even better, to wit, vouchers. It is now fifty years since the great Milton Friedman devised a voucher plan to improve elementary and secondary education. In his masterful little book, "Capitalism and Freedom," the future Nobel laureate suggested that rather than having the government subsidize schools the government should let parents subsidize schools that answer their children's needs. Government checks would go to parents rather than to schools. The checks would be called vouchers. Almost all voucher schemes since the publication of "Capitalism and Freedom" have been limited to low-income families. They have allowed the parents of inner-city students the choice of sending their children to private schools rather than nearby public schools, which are invariably bad schools. Yet this is only part of Friedman's vision.


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While Friedman has wanted the poor to have a choice, he foresees vouchers as improving education nationwide. He would give all parents vouchers, thus establishing a market in education. In commerce markets provide improved and diversified products at lower costs. In education a market would do the same. Writing in the November issue of The American Spectator, Friedman notes the evolution of cars and TVs in our market economy. At first they were only purchasable by the well-off "at high prices [that] thereby supported production while the cost was being brought down, until what started out as a luxury good for the rich became a necessity for the poor." By introducing competition among schools, vouchers would create educational curricula for different needs and at a lower cost.

The problem with today's voucher system is that it is too limited. It does not really establish a market in education. Thus public education remains rigid and unresponsive to students' needs, namely the needs demonstrated in the report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the need to teach young people to read and do math. Though Milton Friedman and his wife, also an economist, Rose Friedman, have been campaigning for vouchers for years, neither has given up. They are in their nineties now, but their faith in human nature is as boundless as their energy. When they first argued for vouchers in the 1950s, few thought vouchers had a chance. In fact few thought market solutions applicable to public problems. I recall the conventional mixed-economy economist, John Kenneth Galbraith, sneering in debate with William F. Buckley Jr. that markets do not even exist.

The Friedmans have lived to see most of the world accept the existence and value of markets. Doubtless in time markets will exert their force in education also, and to education's gain.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

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