Closing failed schools

When a Milwaukee voucher school failed, it closed. That’s a victory for school choice, writes Andrew Coulson of The Gantelope.

So long as schools are run by human beings, some schools will fail. Historically, competitive market schools have failed their students far less frequently than have government monopolies. More importantly, markets force failing schools to either improve or go out of existence, whereas government school monopolies keep their failing schools in operation for year after year, inflicting their pedagogical malpractice on generation after generation of children.

Coulson is the editor of School Choices and author of Market Education: The Unknown History.

About Joanne


  1. Delaine Easton says:

    At least that doesn’t happen in Public Schools. We can keep them open until no one will live there any more.

  2. Eric Holcombe says:

    Interesting program. Only 15% of the available city students are allowed to go to voucher schools. They must also be ‘poor’. There are over 100 private voucher-accepting schools in the city limits of Milwaukee and they enroll over 12,000 students through this program (I thought voucher programs only helped the wealthy get their kids out). The checks are sent to the schools – the parents must endorse them for use by the school. Some more rules:

    (7) (a) Each private school participating in the program under
    this section shall meet at least one of the following standards:
    1. At least 70% of the pupils in the program advance one
    grade level each year.
    2. The private school’s average attendance rate for the pupils
    in the program is at least 90%.
    3. At least 80% of the pupils in the program demonstrate significant
    academic progress.
    4. At least 70% of the families of pupils in the program meet
    parent involvement criteria established by the private school.
    (am) Each private school participating in the program under
    this section is subject to uniform financial accounting standards
    established by the department and annually shall submit to the
    department an independent financial audit of the private school

    Sounds kinda like NCLB huh?

    I’m guessing they thought the whole “Mandella” thing would offer them protection. Probably waiting for Rev. Al to call anytime now…