Governor Bob Taft’s final State of the State on Wednesday was nothing short of an acknowledgement of failure in Ohio’s education system. Unfortunately, his proposal of yet another education spending increase doesn’t come close to addressing the core issues with the system.
Bill Peirce, the Libertarian candidate for governor was non-plussed. “Taft and others like him think that we can simply spend our way out of this problem, when in fact it is doing nothing more than rewarding the failure.” Peirce who has often pointed at the core of the problem — a government monopoly with no incentive to do better — noted that only with education choice will public schools focus on achievement to compete for taxpayer money.
“The other candidates for Ohio governor are playing the same game: pump money in, put a few strings on it and cross our fingers. This kind of wishful thinking should no longer be tolerated when dealing with our children’s futures.”
Peirce was quick to point out that teachers are not to blame for the current situation, but squarely with the bureaucracy that is resistant to reform. “Parents are clamoring for a quick fix to the education system, and while throwing even more taxpayer money at the problem certainly looks like a valiant solution, it’s the same thing we’ve been doing for years. Instead what we need is to open up the field of educational choice and reward the good schools, public or private, that can teach our children. The only way to do this is by transferring the money out of state hands and into trusts that follow each student.”
A similar proposal for reform was recently covered on a special ABC 20/20 report by John Stossel. The segment — Stupid in America: How We Cheat Our Kids — outlined the same failures occuring in education systems across America. The report, which compared the U.S. public education monopoly against examples such as Belgium and South Carolina, showed increased test scoring and improved education results in places where public schools had to compete with each other and with private school for funding.
Peirce’s education vision can be found in his Plans for Ohio