Dr. Jay Greene (Ph.D. in political science, Harvard University) is the 21st Century Professor of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. In a recent blog post, he provides a helpful principle which can guide Oklahoma’s education-policy makers.
Fundamentally, I am for parental control over the education of their children, so I guess that I am for as little governance over education as we can manage. In my ideal world, which I’ve tried to explain and justify at greater length in this book chapter, parents would be given as much money as is minimally necessary to fulfill their obligation to educate their children and would choose the location, manner, and content of that education. Since education is just a subset of all of the activities in which parents engage to raise their children to be productive adults, we should defer to parents as much in how they educate their children as how they raise those children more generally. As long as parents do not neglect or abuse their children, the government should have as little role in education as is possible.
Keeping that principle firmly in mind makes it easier to judge policy proposals, Dr. Greene says. “I favor governance arrangements that facilitate greater parental choice and control over education over those that would reduce parental choice and control.”