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Education "vouchers" solve the fiscal crisis, and also lead to economic recovery?

Simply open up K-12 education to the market place, with government only playing a role by financing the students with a yearly education check of $8000.

*www.usagovernmentspending.com shows American local governments spending $458.3 billion for K-12 education in 2012.
*(Sir Ken Robinson says this education system is a complete failure)
*The new education cost of $8000 education check to 50 million K-12 students is $400 billion per year
*This saves $58.3 billion
*(a $6000 check would save $158.3 billion)
*The yearly education check allows students(and their parents) to choose how, when, where, and what they learn, and also who teaches them
*The yearly education check of $8000 opens up a $400B/year market to entrepreneurs, teachers, and creatives
*($6000 check opens up a $300B/year market to entrepreneurs, teachers, and creatives)

State fiscal crisis solved, federal fiscal crisis solved, and the new education market leads America's economic recovery.

Thoughts everyone?

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  • Jan 2 2013: "Same quality" or "equality" of education is impossible because all teachers are not the same, all students are not the same, and all parents are not the same. Some parents will tutor their own kids, some teachers will be fond of tips, and almost all teachers take likings and dislikings towards certain students.

    The Soviet Union tried "same quality" and "equal services" and the result was a complete failure. Even after 1989 Soviet politicians thought the people would be worse off if the food service industry was opened to the market. Knowing history, it is quite weird that Americans have Soviet mentality when it comes to the K-12 education. And as expected, the education system is a failure, politicians defend the failure, and people are opposed to opening up the education industry to the market place.

    What would you choose for yourself and your children?
    A. Turning the food service industry over to the government where politicians tell you when, what, where, and how to eat.
    A'. Turning the education industry over to the government where politicians tell students when, what, where, and how to learn.

    B. A completely open food service industry where anyone can open a restaurant, grocery store, deli, bakery, and people are free to chose when, what, where, and how they eat.
    B'. A completely open education service industry where anyone can offer education services, and people are free to chose when, what, where, and how they learn --- and the government redistributes wealth into the hands of K-12 students every year in the form of a $8000/student/yr.

    Equality is in the $8000 voucher to every K-12 student, and everyone is free to choose non-profit education services like TED.
    • Jan 2 2013: Actually the Soviet education system from the 1960s onward wasn't that bad. It produced many of the world's most renowned scientists and was better than the current education systems in ex-Soviet states, including Russia. Within two generations the Soviet Union went from being underdeveloped and illiterate to being fully literate and insutrialized with everyone having the opportunity to get quality higher education while most of the population had been illiterate serfs only a century earlier. It did an amazing job when you remember they had to bring education to places like Uzbekistan and Siberia. The Soviet Union, Western Europe and East Asia show that public schools don't have to suck.
      • Jan 4 2013: John, fantastic comparison.
        Comparing Soviet education system to American public education is a great apples to apples comparison since America has centrally planned public schools and a government monopoly on the education system. And both countries failed at education, with America's inner city public schools being the biggest failure.

        I like comparing the cost and quality of different public school cafeterias. Ever compare cost and quality of public school cafeterias with private restaurants?

        So if public schools were the only choice... How about parents of public school students get a "meal voucher" so students who bring their own lunch are compensated for the school's failure? And students also get a class voucher so they can choose the teachers that don't suck?
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          Jan 16 2013: I think that the education in the Soviet U as in other countries of the Eastern Block failed as they started to open up and introduce western (including USA) models; The school system was one of the few things they got right; the old systems were solid, based on traditional methods (memorization, all classes mandatory (no electives) , retaking a whole year of curriculum if you didn't score to a passing grade; you had to be good at everything (no such an excuse as 'I'm not good at math"...Sure the system was not perfect and maybe at times too rigorous; some children had to take tutoring to pass the class. The problem is, as I see it that in US people want it both ways: easy and good...which might not be possible. The school system we have would do maybe better if they would set up high standards and regard teaching more as an art more than a measurable quality; education doesn't even need to cost that much; good education comes with hard work not trough fancy labs, and computers ....and a tone of supplies.
      • Jan 18 2013: Anairda,
        The Soviet system did work for some people. Wouldn't it be great for American education when $8000 vouchers given to all students opens a $400B/yr market so entrepreneurs could set up schools with the same rigorous teaching methods and standards seen in Soviet education? Parents and students would be free to choose the traditional Soviet schooling offering, and also have the money to pay for it.

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