Obama Should Look to Sweden for Education, Not Banks

Heritage Foundation “Foundry” Blog, March 16, 2009

A month ago, Obama explored the notion of nationalizing the banks under the Swedish model. Instead of the Swedish banking model, Obama should look at the school voucher program in Sweden for inspiration. The Pacific Research Institute recently had a video Op-Ed on the New York times Web site explaining how well the voucher program works in Sweden. The voucher program in Sweden has broad bipartisan support and has defeated the “status quo” in education and the children, as well as parents, are reaping the benefits.

In the video, Stockholm Governor Per Unckle states:

Education is so important that you cannot leave it to just one producer because we know from all monopolies that the monopoly system [does] not fulfill all wishes

Parents in Sweden can use their vouchers to attend either public, or private schools and also have the option for a wide variety of educational philosophies that work best with what they want to instill upon their child. It is a kind of choice that is simply not available in America. There is success in the voucher program, so it has broad support. There is success in the DC Scholarship opportunity Program in America, yet it is in danger of being eliminated by Congress. It seems unimaginable that a program that helps kids and parents is in danger of being cut, but this is the reality we find ourselves in.

You would think that a group dedicated to having great teachers at great schools would love a program that helps kids and parents get a better education in better schools. But at the Web site of the NEA you will find:

YOU DID IT: Congress Rejects Funding for DC Voucher Program
Your e-mails have once again scored a victory for public education. This week, the Senate defeated an NEA-opposed amendment to extend funding for the District of Columbia pilot voucher program.

Why would they be against a program that helps so many kids? Why won’t they accept competition into the education market? Sweden introduced competition and it helped both the private and public schools.

Author: Todd Thurman

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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