Review by Choice Review
Working from an historical perspective, Coulson has written an apologia for competitive, free market education, claiming that free enterprise education has a history of outperforming state-run schools systems. In the opening section he examines expectations of parents and the general public for state-run public schooling and concludes that the present system comes up short. In part 2 he examines school systems from ancient Greece and Rome to the present century. In the final section Coulson distills the evidence of history and decides that the public's needs are more likely served by free education markets in which parents exercise choice than by the present monopolistic public education system. In Coulson's terms competitive, free market education will provide for a more innovative, more flexible, and more responsive system of schooling. He argues that parental financial responsibility encourages parental involvement, that children from low-income families can be successfully funded under a market system, that a successful transition from a centralized, governmental to a for-profit school system is possible, and that, ultimately, we can do without government schools. Skeptical as he is of the promise of current education reforms, Coulson believes that a competitive school system will result in more flexibility and a new range of schooling alternatives in all shapes and sizes. All levels. R. J. Reynolds; Eastern Connecticut State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.