Joseph Bast, President of the Heartland Institute and Dr. Herbert Walberg, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Heartland Institute discuss their book Education and Capitalism: How Overcoming Our Fear of Markets and Economics Can Improve America’s Schools on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the book’s release.
Their book argues unless myths surrounding capitalism go unchallenged, American society will not achieve meaningful education reform. Since Education and Capitalism was published, all states have charter schools, totaling 5,000 nationwide, 10
states have tax tuition credits, several states are developing school voucher programs, and even more are considering Parent Trigger legislation. However, there is still a lot of work to do. We are paying astronomical costs for sub-standard education in a country that is supposed to have the greatest schools and universities in the world. Privatization is a solution to high school costs because it increases competition, which enhances performance, and also accommodates for personal choice. There are many obstacles in the way of this solution, including: the power of special interest groups, public distrust of capitalism, and the fear of a painful or disorderly transition. Unless these challenges are addressed, meaningful change cannot be made.