School choice deal in Austin? | Measuring accountability is fundamental to school choice – Pratt on Texas 10/31/2023

The news of Texas covered today includes:

Our Lone Star story of the day: Governor Abbott caves to Texas House’s extortion plan for any school choice program: Will plow billions of new money into the systems people want to leave and lessen the burdens of transparency and accountability on those same monopoly government school systems. It’s almost as if this were not a state with a legislature dominated by Republicans as the deal looks more like what you might see in Michigan or similar to pay off the teacher and administrator unions.

Our Lone Star story of the day is sponsored by Allied Compliance Services providing the best service in DOT, business and personal drug and alcohol testing since 1995.

School choice: Market forces (meaning you and me) versus political forces (such as narrow self-serving special interests and the powerful politically connected) is the fundamental issue with school choice: How do we change the always much maligned “accountability systems” (think testing) for the use of taxpayer money to provide education to children and youth in the state.

A monopoly always looks out for itself, for the interests of its people, more than it does for its customers, or users. This is simply because if it is a monopoly, which government schools are in Texas in regard to tax money paid for the purpose of providing education, it does not have to worry about significant losses of users of its services. That then brings on the demand from the polis (political demand of the people) of forms of accountability to try and measure the performance of the inward focused monopoly – think STAAR testing and similar.

Or put differently, school choice moves public education accountability (quality, etc.) from a politically driven system to a consumer driven system.

Those things are not needed in a true choice environment as the accountability system becomes the aggregation of the choices made by what become authentic customers, as opposed to service users. If a school, or type of schooling, is perceived by parents as ineffective or offensive then they take their child, and the tax money that follows the child, to a school or system that better fulfills their value proposition.

School choice is about replacing political forces with market forces (you, the customer) as the accountability system in taxpayer funded schemes of primary and secondary education.


Dallas Fed report shows Texas’ service sector flat with worsening conditions and retail sales continuing their slide downward.

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