Saturday, June 25, 2005

William F. Buckley Jr. on Milton Friedman

William F. Buckley Jr. on Milton Friedman on National Review Online: "Milton Friedman says some things that require faith. He compares the performance of Catholic schools and public schools in New York City. The Catholic schools (only one-half of whose students are Catholic) cost half as much per student as the public schools and send almost twice as many graduates on to college.

Moreover - a point very dear to Milton's heart - the very act of submitting to pubic schooling tames young spirits to associate public enterprises with correct social enterprise. It is a contaminating experience, he holds - a breeding ground of budget allocations by political bodies, submission to cartels of union-bound teachers, and a spiritual acclimation to a norm which, far from being competitive, encourages the kind of mediocrity that is associated with corporate goals set by remote agencies.

On nothing are the Friedmans more emphatic than that school choice would help poorer students. Competition inevitably encourages quality, and students who are free to opt for alternative schooling would flock to do so, as they have done in experiments in Chicago and Milwaukee and, are expected to do in Arizona and Utah. Non-Catholic blacks fight to get their children accepted in Catholic schools in Chicago, where a premium is placed on work and on reading and writing. The principal opponents of change are the same unions that Governor Schwarzenegger is fighting with in California, seeking to maintain their hold on the teachers' victims - the students. "

No comments: