Cato’s Andrew Coulson believes better schools produce better outcomes for disadvantaged students, citing the success of Ben Chavis’ American Indian Public Charter Schools.
IQ expert and Bell Curve author Charles Murray disagrees,, responding that “such a huge proportion of a child’s educational prospects are determined by things other than school (genes and the non-school environment) that reforms of the schools can never do more than produce score improvements at the margin.”
The throwdown continues with Coulson citing international and U.S. research:
. . . moving from our current monopoly school system to a free and competitive education marketplace would shift the bell curve of academic achievement significantly to the right, raising the mean achievement substantially above its current level.
I can’t believe this is the best we can do.
Public Forum profiles five bad schools that got much, much better after restructuring in Breaking the Habit of Low Performance.