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American Education Needs Competition, Not Common Core

Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman championed individual liberty and free markets instead of bigger government. This included his belief that all parents—regardless of their incomes or addresses—should be free to choose their children’s schools.

Yet too often expanding government instead of freedom is the default solution to ailing schools. The Common Core State Standards are a case in point.

Supporters claim that adopting Common Core, as California has done, will provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students should know to be prepared for college and careers. On the contrary, many experts serving on Common Core review committees warn that academic rigor was compromised for the sake of political buy-in from the various political interest groups involved—including teachers unions.

Vicki E. Alger is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of the book Failure: The Federal "Misedukation" of America’s Children.

New from Vicki E. Alger!
FAILURE: The Federal Misedukation of America’s Children
Education policy has long been mired in controversies, often with opposing sides missing the mark. Failure helps us step back from the skirmish du jour and redirects our focus to the big picture, showing us what’s gone wrong over the decades and the institutional causes of these failures. It also offers a bold blueprint for returning the federal government to its constitutional role and for cultivating an educational system that meets the needs of students and parents, rather than bureaucrats.