Trust Parents or Political Appointees to Choose Best School for Kids?

Children come first

The Center for Michigan's founder Phil Power laments in a recent column that Michigan charter schools are not subject to more limits imposed by some state body.

Power wrote: “There’s no central body to determine the best balance between charter and public school locations and enrollment, and the legislature this year killed a sensible attempt to establish one for Detroit.”

ForTheRecord says: Power's preferred policy suffers from what Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek called “the fatal conceit” of government central planners. They believe that they have enough knowledge to order the affairs of thousands or millions of individuals better than those individuals themselves.

In this case, the conceit is a belief that a central planning board can make better decisions for children than their parents. Such a board would be dominated by political appointees beholden to the special interests of the public school status quo, including unions and many administrators.

But when it comes to having the best information about what is right for children’s education, there is no substitute for their parents. Parents are also far less likely to place the interests of a particular institution ahead of what is best for their children’s future.