CREDO director: The free market doesn't work in ed

Dive Brief:

  • Dr. Margaret Raymond, the director of Stanford's Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO), was less than optimistic about school choice when she spoke last week at a City Club of Cleveland event.  
  • Speakng on a recent study focused on Ohio charter schools, Raymond surprised many ed wonks by stating that education is the only industry where the free market mechanism doesn't work. The study in question was financed by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, which is pro-market reform, and CREDO is attached to the Hoover Institute —​ also aligned with a free-market.  
  • Accodring to the study, students in Ohio charter schools spent, on average, 36 days less on math and 14 days less on reading than their traditional district counterparts.  

Dive Insight:

Stephen Dyer, an education policy fellow at Innovation Ohio and former congressman, first wrote about the talk on his blog, 10th Period. In addition to linking the audio from a podcast, he excerpted a piece of Raymond's speech:

"I actually am kind of a pro-market kinda girl. But it doesn’t seem to work in a choice environment for education. I’ve studied competitive markets for much of my career. That’s my academic focus for my work. And (education) is the only industry/sector where the market mechanism just doesn’t work. I think it’s not helpful to expect parents to be the agents of quality assurance throughout the state. I think there are other supports that are needed… The policy environment really needs to focus on creating much more information and transparency about performance than we’ve had for the 20 years of the charter school movement. We need to have a greater degree of oversight of charter schools. But I also think we have to have some oversight of the overseers."  

Filed Under: K12
Top image credit: Wikimedia Commons