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Private vs Public

Holding Out for the Super-Voucher: Kevin Watkins Responds to Justin Sandefur on Private v Public Education

Duncan Green's picture

Kevin Watkins (right), senior visiting research fellow at the Brookings Institution, responds to yesterday’s guest post by Justin Sandefur.

After reciting the familiar evidence on the learning achievement problems in poor countries, Justin Sandefur offers an even more familiar ‘one-stop’ solution – a market-based fix, with low-fee private schools, vouchers, and the apparently talismanic Pearson corporation leading the way to a better, smarter future. It seems that only for-profit school providers and corporate entrepreneurs know the secret of raising education standards of marginalized kids in poor countries, and that public provision is part of the problem rather than part of a potential solution.

Nothing in the research cited by Justin makes the case for his prescriptions. Let’s start by being clear about our differences.