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Topic: Economist Kern Alexander Explains the Problem with School Choice
Replies: 4   Last Post: Feb 4, 2013 2:03 AM

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Richard Hake

Posts: 1,231
From: Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Registered: 12/4/04
Economist Kern Alexander Explains the Problem with School Choice
Posted: Feb 2, 2013 6:29 PM
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Some subscribers to MathEdCC might be interested in a recent post
"Economist Kern Alexander Explains the Problem with School Choice"
[Hake (2013)]. The abstract reads:

##############################################################
ABSTRACT: Diane Ravitch (2013) in her blog entry "An Economist
Explains the Problem with Choice" at <http://bit.ly/11r9xCJ> has
pointed to Kern Alexander's "Asymmetric Information, Parental Choice,
Vouchers, Charter Schools and Stiglitz" at <http://bit.ly/XuBB2u>.
Alexander wrote:

*****************************************
The story goes that tuition voucher schools and charter schools are
creatures of the spirit of capitalism and that public funding of them
will increase competition, making all schools more efficient and
academically better, especially public schools. For that theory to
work it is hypothesized that parents as "rational people will make
choices as to the education of their children in perfect markets." In
the realm of economics, this reasoning is called the "rational
expectations hypothesis" or the "efficient markets hypothesis" - see
"The Myth of the Rational Market"[Fox (2011, p. 178)] at
<http://amzn.to/Wd4ukl>.

The "efficient markets" notion applied to schools via parental choice
means that parents will, in their wisdom, utilize public money to
send their children to private schools and that *ipso facto* the
education level of the nation rises commensurate with the level and
intensity of competition among parents in choosing private, clerical,
and/or corporate charter schools. . . . . unfortunately, experience
indicates that parental choices are ensnared and limited by the
parents' own limited experiences, level of learning, ignorance,
biases, and mythology on which they depend to make educational
choices for their children and is, thus, in most cases, highly
suspect. . . .

Today institutions of higher education, public and private, remain
largely segregated by race, religion and economic condition. White
colleges and universities remain primarily white, Black institutions
remain primarily black, and denominational institutions remain even
more religiously identifiable. . . . . . Such segregation is
sanctified with tons of federal and state money in the forms of
tuition vouchers, tax credits and government subsidized loans. The
Obama administration has been largely foreclosed from remedying the
situation for fear of offending powerful political forces
representing the investors and private institutions.

The higher education voucher/loan dilemma portends a probable
scenario for the future of tuition vouchers and charter schools at
the primary and secondary levels. . . . . . School tuition vouchers
and charter schools are the operational models for implementation of
the "narrow self-interest." It is easy to recognize, but difficult to
justify.
*********************************************
##############################################################

To access the complete 14 kB post please click on <http://bit.ly/WIdRH5>.

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles: <http://bit.ly/a6M5y0>
Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs: <http://bit.ly/9nGd3M>
Academia: <http://bit.ly/a8ixxm>
Blog: <http://bit.ly/9yGsXh>
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REFERENCES [URL shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 02 Feb 2013.]
Hake, R.R. 2013. "Economist Kern Alexander Explains the Problem with
School Choice," online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at
<http://bit.ly/WIdRH5>. Post of 02 Feb 2013 13:00:30-0800 to AERA-L
and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being
transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog
"Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/We8IrV> with a provision for
comments.



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