School, Inc.

Forces And Choices

Season 1, Episode 3 of 3

Ten years after Chile reformed its education system, Sweden followed suit. It is the first stop in Forces and Choices , episode three of School Inc. All private schools in Sweden are now fully tax supported and parents can choose between these so-called "free" schools and the local public schools. The global journey continues, visiting highly successful private schools in Sweden, London, and India, where the resistance to education as a business has lessened. The late Andrew Coulson, senior fellow of education policy at Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, is joined by the administrators of these schools to examine the secrets of their success, learning that some of India's highly successful private schools serve eager poor students and parents at little more than a dollar a week. School Inc. comes full circle to conclude in the English countryside where the Industrial Revolution began. Then as now, Coulson suggests, education was perhaps the only field in which successful entrepreneurship was not celebrated. He concludes: "What if we allowed all education entrepreneurs to put their own money on the line in an effort to better serve us, gaining or losing just as entrepreneurs do in other fields. And what if we made sure that everyone had access to that wide-open market place. Would we then see excellence scale-up in education?"

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