Supermarkets and Schools

An editorial in the Wall Street Journal suggests schools should be run like supermarkets: Open to competitive pressures. In his comparison of schools to supermarkets, Professor Boudreaux neglects the obvious. What if the supermarket could not choose its suppliers? Suppose supermarket A had to take all the shrimp from polluted waters, while Supermarket B selected its shrimp from clean waters. Where would consumers choose to buy shrimp? Suppose Supermarket A could refuse service to customers who walked in the door in an unclean manner but Supermarket B had to serve everyone, including the customers rejected by Supermarket A. Which store would be a more pleasant environment?

Schools are not supermarkets and to suppose they are is ludicrous. The reality is school funding in most locales is dictated by local taxes. Low tax revenue equals underfunded schools. High poverty neighborhoods generally mean more problem children than affluent neighborhoods, thus schools in low income neighborhoods have more problems than schools in high income neighborhoods.

Society in the 60s informed us they don’t want bussing, so what is the solution? Meet the children and their families where their needs are based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. By doing this we will address both nature and nurture issues and move all children forward.

Schools and Supermarkets both start with S. That is all they have in common. Schools are under assault by those like Professor Boudreaux who are ignorant of what schools need to do. I hope you all doing what you can top fight the spread of misinformation.


One thought on “Supermarkets and Schools

  1. This mistaken supermarket analogy presupposes that anybody knows what good education and good teaching are. Today’s legislators are all about test scores as a measure–not! To continue such an analogy: you could shop at a sanitary and tidy supermarket that looks good but doesn’t supply fresh and tasty food.

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