Liberty & Learning: Milton Friedman's Voucher Idea at Fifty

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9781930865938: Liberty & Learning: Milton Friedman's Voucher Idea at Fifty

Fifty years ago, Milton Friedman had the ground-breaking idea to improve public education with school vouchers. By separating government financing of education from government administration of schools, Friedman argued, parents at all income levels would have the freedom to choose the schools their children attend. Liberty & Learning is a collection of essays from the nation's top education experts evaluating the progress of Friedman's innovative idea and reflecting on its merits in the 21st century. The book also contains a special prologue and epilogue by Milton Friedman himself. The contributors to this volume take a variety of approaches to Friedman's voucher idea. All of them assess the merit of Friedman's plan through an energetic, contemporary perspective, though some authors take a theoretical position, while others employ a very pragmatic approach.

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From the Back Cover:

"The contributors offer a thoughtful look at the movement for school choice. Friedman offers an epilogue critical of the power of the teachers' unions and promising to continue to fight for vouchers. Readers interested in education will appreciate the well-considered arguments presented in this thought-provoking book." -Vanessa Bush, Booklist, American Library Association

"Liberty & Learning represents a major critical reassessment of the Friedman's vision for school choice. It is by no means just a paean to the genius of the voucher idea. The Friedmans themselves have always relished the spirited debate, and several contributors are ready to give it to them." -School Choice Advocate

"The movement remains in its infancy, and the `pure' voucher system Milton Friedman proposed has still never been instituted anywhere in the United States. This slim volume, with contributions from 10 educational experts of varying ideological hues, tries to explain why and where to go from here. Suggestions in the book range from downplaying the rhetoric of liberty and adopting the rhetoric of community values to sell vouchers to Myron Lieberman's suggestion that voucher supporters stop compromising and push harder for system wide vouchers for everybody. Abigail Thernstrom suggests a broad voucher program may be the last hope for many African Americans. And James Tooley notes the remarkable 'mushrooming' of inexpensive and superior private schools in poor regions from India to Ghana." -Alan W. Bock, Orange County Register

About the Author:

EDITORS Robert C. Enlow is the executive director of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Lenore T. Ealy is the president of the consulting firm Thinkitecure, Inc. She lives in Carmel, Indiana.

CONTRIBUTORS John E. Brandl is a professor and former dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and a Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at St. John's University.

John E. Coons is a Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. In the 1970s he was appointed to the National Commission on School Finance by President Carter.

Andrew Coulson is the director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom and serves on the Advisory Council of the E. G. West Centre for Market Solutions in Education at the University of Newcastle, UK.

Jay P. Greene is head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His research was cited four times in the Supreme Court's opinions in the landmark case on school vouchers.

Eric A. Hanushek is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas at Dallas, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Guilbert C. Hentschke is a professor in Public School Administration at the University of Southern California and serves on the boards of such institutions as the Aspen Educational Group and the National Center on Education and the Economy.

Myron Liebernan is the chairman and cofounder of the Educational Policy Institute, life member of the National Education Association, and a retiree member of the American Federation of Teachers.

John Merrifield is a member of the economics faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio, senior research fellow of the Education Policy Institute and the Fraser Institute.

Abigail Thernstrom is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, and vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

James Tooley is director of the E. G. West Centre for Market Solutions in Education at the University of Newcastle, UK, where he is also professor of education policy.

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