Think about it: Would one federal department be more efficient at telling Americans how to get the best possible education? Or would dealing with education on a state, local or even personal level get the job done just as well, if not substantially better? How would an all-powerful “mastermind” know what works best for Lorain, Ohio or the kids of Coweta, Ga. when it comes to education? Education should be left in the hands of local governments.
It all comes down to three main points. First the Department of Education has been a financial burden on the U.S. Second, we should move toward competition and public choice. Third, the priority should be focused on getting higher quality education for all.
All of this can be done by moving toward the direction of privatization. Although complete privatization of education is politically absurd, some mechanism ought to be put in place to allow competition to occur (perhaps public choice, the voucher system, etc.).
Additionally, problems that arise from schools should be addressed at local levels, whether that be through local officials or parents themselves.
Aside from several exceptions here and there, historically, the public school system does not have a strong record — we all know that.
The Department of Education was intended to give all children a good shot at a solid education regardless of where they live, but that hasn’t been the case. Draining more and more money year after year to fund inefficient practices is unproductive.
Cutting spending in general should always be a priority and getting rid of inefficient bureaucracy is one way of doing so. A report by the Cato Institute estimates that during three General Accounting Office audits, the department reported losing $450 million, consecutively. The Department of Education spends $2 trillion annually, ($25,000 per student) and America’s students are still not doing well. Why should we put up with it? More money does not always mean better quality.
In essence, we need competition, not rigid, planned education. Parents and families, whether rich, poor or middle class, know what’s best for their children — and who doesn’t want their kids to have the best possible education?
If we just allow some sort of voucher system (which, by the way, Obama got rid of in Washington D.C.) or some other mechanism to allow choice and competition, we can ensure that the best possible education will be out there and available to everyone, because only then will individuals have the freedom to pick what’s best for them.
If we look at all the successful educational systems found internationally, we see a common trend — they tend to give parents some degree of choice and schools themselves are not shackled by government mandates. It all boils down to one principle: choice.
By allowing privatization or, at the very least, some choice in education free from the government monopolies, not only will quality go up, but high quality education will be accessible for everyone.