by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
In an excellent article published on Jay Greene’s blog, Jason Bedrick, who was just named the national policy director at EdChoice, pushes back on the idea that parental choice is not “real” accountability.
As I explained at the Heritage Foundation earlier this week, true accountability is when service providers are directly answerable to the people most affected by their performance. When that isn’t possible, as when a utility company has a monopoly, top-down regulations may be necessary instead. But we shouldn’t confuse the inferior alternative accountability regime for the ideal form of accountability just because that’s what we’re used to. As Thomas Sowell has written, “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
Sadly, we’ve become so accustomed to the “accountability” regime imposed on the monopoly district school system that many people have not only come to confuse it for true accountability, but they no longer recognize true accountability when they see it.
The accompanying video featuring Jay Greene and Yuval Levin is also worth a look.