Replies from me on this.
1. You want the best results you get the goverment out as much as you can.
Why? There is no causative link between government involvement and the quality of result. There is a causative link between personnel in charge and the quality of result, namely that if you put morons in charge you get poor results. However, the source of the morons is not always the government. It *is* possible to have able people in government, just as it is equally possible to have complete and utter dipsticks in industry.
Your statement here speaks more of political dogma than of evidence based argument.
Why is phone service so inexpensive and full of options the goverment deregulated it and let free market forces react. I can say the same helped the computer industry, internet services and most other areas. And airfares dropped hard after the government pulled out unless you missed that one.
You're cherry-picking your evidence here. There are as many cases where deregulation has caused a serious decrease in standards. I could cite the fact that the privatisation of the UK railways produced short term benefits to the consumer but, in the longterm led to a degree of underinvestment that required a partial renationalisation. If you want to check the facts on this, look up the sorry story of Railtrack
However, a better example is the air industry. In case you've not noticed (to use your turn of phrase), many of the carriers are introducing sneak fees. The prime example of this is Ryanair
which became a very successful business as a result of deregulation. However, the cost to the passenger is great, with a large number of stealth charges and incredibly poor customer service, staff training and hygiene. While they might be the cheapest airfares out there in terms of ticket price, charges for online check in and a greater charge for at the airport check in and a lack of lavatories on their planes mean that I'm not going to be flying with them any time soon.
However, such things are beside the point: the education of children is not an industry but rather the most important investment any culture can make for its future. If it fails, then society itself will fail since the point of education is not merely to process children so that they come out of the other end with exam results but to socialise them so that they can cope in the society in which they will take their places as adults. Thus comparing education to transporting people from one place to another or providing cables and the infrastructure to allow telecommunications is a false comparison. You might as well compare a mouse to an oak tree. Both are living things but few meanigful comparisons can be made.
So letting parents freely choose how to educate their children would produce comparable free market results.
You're right, it will, but which free market results? Those where things work well or those where things went to hell in a handbasket? Remember: while privatisation and deregulation can free people up to do great things, people can be freed up to fail spectacularly too. Or did the cause of the Credit Crunch pass you by?
2. Private schools well this is not a voucher and parochial schools say the Catholic ones in my area are cutting tuition a K-5 student at one right next door would have to pay $4400 plus fees and uniforms well under the $6500. And with this they could educate the child as they wished homeschool, unschool (newer version), chip in and hire a teacher having a micro-school, send a child to a private school or other reforms. I tend to feel most students if truly gifted will focus on their love and go with it and others will gravitate to some interest that inspires them towards a vocation. You put the money out there the Free Market will offer options in that amount. And the wealthy always will have advantages we have to accept that.
I've taught in both private and state run schools and in one that was a weird hybrid of the two. They've all had their good points but equally they've all had disastrous flaws. And this brings me to the questions I asked in my earlier post: what do you think constitutes a good education? From what you've put here, it seems as though cheapness is the sole criterion you're using to judge systems, though I am sure that such is not the case. The point is there have to be objective criteria to judge the quality of education provided to students, otherwise some students will receive no education at all.
So, once more I ask, what makes a good education?
3. Segregation is not my issue parents can decide that issue its not a matter for the government. If say I wanted my child someday not to hang out with people not white well its my choice. I think forcing this is a major issue with public schools and must I add how much class time is wasted with students not wanting to be there, fighting, bickering, cliques and other distractions. I attendined private school ,parochial, and my High School each year cost under $6500 and I'm well-adjusted really just making my point. Its not the governments job to make people get along they must want to get along and I would argue most do. The odd racists would naturally have their rights.
Actually it is a government issue and is not an issue for parents to decide. I've seen some remarkable parents in my time as a teacher, some of whom are the most gifted people I've ever met. I've also had to deal with a child who had no idea what toilet paper was, because his parents were too stoned to teach him how to wipe his arse and parents whose political opinions were such that they encouraged their children to attack other children because they had a different coloured skin. I would be happy to agree with you if all parents were in the first of the three types I mentioned but there's no way in hell that I would allow either of the other two groups any more say in my country's educational system than they get every five years with the ballot box.
4. A good education for me is can a student be employed when an adult. Period. Most jobs require around an eighth grade education, not more and many can get by below that.
And how will such people compete with those who are better educated and cheaper to employ in India and China? Such a view is shortsighted in the extreme.
For those going to college there are options that could be given private schools or tutoring if say they are homeschooled or unschooled. But I agree a basic tst of knowledge should be given at age 14 to assess their knowledge - adjusted if a child has issues like mental retardation maybe a review by a state official panel. Testing that the child can perform at the eighth grade level focused more on applied uses of mathematics and english literacy for employment.
Hang on. Are you arguing for a state role here? Who would administer the tests? Now if you're suggesting that these tests are summative tests, how will you judge if the education a child is receiving is adequate early enough to correct any mistakes. The mantra I live by, as a teacher is "While I might have many more chances to teach a particular topic correctly, my pupils have only the one chance to learn it correctly and so I had better damn well make sure I do my best for them: their life chances depend on it." Formative tests need to be carried out throughout education if that education will be successful.
But an example I made what if a parent is a tradesperson say a carpenter I would argue the father teaching his child carpentry and making them fully trained by age eighteen would be productive education. So would a child going to a private school and going to college. And I will add a student inclined for college could earn an associates by eighteen if that is their goal paid for by the government, that would be a good thing to.
And what of the right of a child to determine his or her own future? There are plenty of parents out there who "know better than their children" what their children should be. Who decides if that parent's choice is in the child's best interests?
5. And a note the fact is to many students are going to college pressured by parents, teachers and the system even if they are not suited for it. This would be for a four year or higher degree not an associates career based degree or certificate program. Letting children have some say as teens in their educations and following their interests might be a good thing instead of wasting time in college they might love being a barber or a LPN or massage therapist or like me running a hot dog stand I own. (I dropped out of college it just wasn't for me and now have debts to pay off but I love running my own business and have a knack for that. If given a choice I would not have gone to college over two-years.) The fact is half of students drop out the first year of college clearly these would be best served by many options.
That's exactly my issue with your proposal. You argue that parental pressure can force children into educational paths unsuited for them and yet you seem to argue that the parents should choose at the same time. That's what your carpenter analogy seems to suggest unless I'm missing something.
I will agree that too many people are pushed into following university courses where (in the past) they would have been inappropriate. However, that is not the result of parental pressure so much as it is of grade inflation. A bachelors' degree twenty-five years ago held the same currency that a masters holds now. In the same way, students with O' levels were able to get work easily while those with the modern equivalent, the GCSE find that they need to go on and study for A' levels to get the same employment chances.
Who drives this grade inflation? It's certainly neither the students nor the parents (I'm dreading having to pay my daughter's college fees in two years time). The cause of it is an unholy combination of free market forces, I'm sorry to say.
Firstly, with high unemployment, employers tend to choose students with better qualifications.
Secondly, deregulation of state schools has allowed parents to choose which schools their children go to, rather than sending them to "the local school". The criteria used is almost universally the number of C+ passes achieved at age 16.
Thirdly, deregulation of the exam boards allows them to produce courses that are easier to pass. Since school funding is determined by exam results and how many students they get (also indirectly determined by exam results as noted above) schools choose courses which student are more likely to pass. An example of this is one of the reasons I walked out of my last job. I was asked to bring in a science course which would give students the equivalent of 4 C+ passes but didn't actually require them to know any science. Nationally, nearly every student that takes the course passes it because there is no exam and the coursework is marked by teachers whose continued employment depends on them getting good results. I left rather than continue such a farce.
The consequence of all of these forces acting together is that the exam boards produce qualifications with less and less rigour which are chosen by schools eager to get better results for their students so they get better funding and so get more parents sending their children to them. As a result, the value of qualifications is driven down. The knock on from this is that employers get applicants for jobs with degrees which previously only required A' levels and so they get the jobs that only required O' levels in the past.
In short, the education and qualifications system is in a mess because of deregulation.
5. Some careers don't need college and are learned on-the-job so to speak, artists and musicians come to mind and most writers just have a talent for it. These might find flexible educational choice good for example spending four years in an art colony honing their craft or working on their music.
I agree, however, I think that the changes you envisage will make this an increasingly rare state of affairs.