Another Insight from Charlie

From time to time, I like to share insights from my colleague and close friend, Charlie Irish.  A former superintendent in the Medina City Schools for 13 years, Charlie currently works on educational research with the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, Ohio.  Over the weekend, he shared the following insight regarding the similarity between the current debates about health care and education:  “I see the debates about health care and education as being largely about what some tout as the freedom to choose.  Choose your school.  Choose your doctor.  Shop for the cheapest heart surgery.  Select schools with highest test scores.  It’s all about the market and free enterprise.  And what could be more American than that?  The problem is that the market isn’t working well in either of these situations.  The truth is that health care and education are so complicated that they are virtually unshoppable.  They are far more susceptible to scams and film-flam than good choice.  We see it happening in education with some of the charter schools.  This does not mean that the current systems of health care and education are acceptable.  It is simply to say that efforts to turn these things over to the market may feed the economy quite nicely, but it also is likely to reduce the quality of what we are trying to improve.”

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