Monday, July 27, 2009

On Babies (Chinese) and Schools (Charter)

Two stories have recently caught my attention.
  • Chinese officials are now urging some couples to have two children, primarily to ease the coming strain from the population aging. The One Child policy has created an incredible generational, and gender, imbalance. They'd better hope and pray a disproportionate number of these two child couples have girls.
  • I have practically no hope that any education reform will work. The flaws go way too deep for vouchers, charter schools, merit pay, etc. to have any meaningful impact. The unionization of charter schools is one more reason I don't think school choice vouchers (or charter schools) would have any significant positive effect. Under a voucher plan, why wouldn't the current unions make every effort to unionize the teachers in voucher financed schools, thereby perpetuating the flaws of the current system? Even if school choice gathered momentum, the institutional structure of education remains intact. The financing mechanism might change, but the box within which (most) schooling occurs will still have its four walls in exactly the same place. For any significant and lasting change in education to occur, the walls must come down. I'm not betting on that happening.

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