Subtle perversion leads to failure

While writing in my previous post about how community centers and schools may help reduce crime by keeping criminals occupied, but shouldn’t necessarily be beholden to that goal, I thought of a subtle perversion in incentives that may be the key source of ruin for many failing public school districts.

The subtle perversion is the idea that EVERYONE, no matter what, is entitled to a free education. On the surface, that’s a noble goal. But, sometimes noble goals have bad consequences.

I think it’s the reason that many folks see a difference between the school and community center examples. ‘We’ don’t believe everyone is entitled to a free community center. ‘We’ do believe everyone is entitled to a free education.

But, how can this noble goal have a bad consequence?

Because that’s what forces schools to keep the bad apples, whereas community centers can kick out the bad apples.

In this post, I wrote about how the cost of education should be better known and schools should be able to expect students and parents to adhere to a code of conduct in exchange for the valuable and expensive education. Maybe even the parents of bad apples should be billed for the cost of their kids’ disruptions.

In public education, the incentives against misbehavior and failure are weak.

8 thoughts on “Subtle perversion leads to failure

  1. Many (most) of what were once our most prestigious institutions of higher learning started out as private and/or religious schools. Their reputations were established when they were controlled not by the State or by State imposed rules, but when they were controlled by private or religious organizations. Government control not only correlated with the demise of the quality of public education, it caused it.

    Sure, it’s “free”, but you get what you pay for…..

    ……on second thought, it “appears” to be free, but we actually pay more per student than any other country and we don’t see results that justify the huge costs.

    Why should we expect government control of medical care is any different? Higher costs to the nation and a declining quality have always been the result of government intervention.

  2. I agree. The problem in the US is that the balance of power between the states and the federal government has shifted too far in the direction of the federal government. The federal government’s power to tax lets them control the purse strings and they get their way by linking federal funds (which were originally local funds) to compliance with federal mandates and “suggestions”. The size (geographically and demographically) of our country makes aur current form of government unworkable. Some have suggested revising our nation as follows:


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