Why is it so many for-profit programs that replace government run ones slide into nightmare such as for-profit prisons where more people get convicted for lessor things to fill the cells?

Advocates for choice-based solutions should take a look at what’s happened to schools in Sweden, where parents and educators would be thrilled to trade their country’s steep drop in PISA scores over the past 10 years for America’s middling but consistent results. What’s caused the recent crisis in Swedish education? Researchers and policy analysts are increasingly pointing the finger at many of the choice-oriented reforms that are being championed as the way forward for American schools. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that adding more accountability and discipline to American schools would be a bad thing, it does hint at the many headaches that can come from trying to do so by aggressively introducing marketlike competition to education.



  1. Educate Me says:

    Pointing the finger at “This page is no longer available.”

  2. dusanmal says:

    Sorry, but comparing totally different changes (similar only on the surface) in totally different educational system to make an ideological point is unacceptable.
    Fair way: see how children who were given similar options in school systems in the USA did and how did those systems perform in few cases where vouchers were reversed (… reversed gains too…). People know it too… just see how many in NYC attempt to get into “Charter Schools” (similar mechanism as vouchers just instead of separate payments and admissions, these admit by lottery out of many more applicants than available places ) and how RANDOMLY CHOSEN children who get in prosper vs. their randomly not chosen peers.

  3. ± says:

    You obviously can post anything you want, but if you posted this anywhere else it would have the headline:

                      TROLL

    • Kiwini says:

      “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” – Socrates

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and junior culture critic says:

      troll
      One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument

      /////// I only wish that were true.

      Even with my evil shades on, I have never seen a troll OP here. Maybe in some of the misleading headlines…which like most headlines are motivated by a realization the actual issue is not that interesting….. just the opposite of trolling.

      ….. a label. No analysis at all.

  4. NewFormatSux says:

    Since these programs have been around for at least 20 years in the US, one would think you could look closer to home for comparisons.

    What we see is they encouraged rampant grade inflation in Sweden.

  5. What? The moth is always drawn to the flame? says:

    How about this for an idea: Parents have to pay for their child’s education; have no money, then home school. Both parents work, then don’t have kids or lower your expenses.

    We are on an expensive road to nowhere.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and junior culture critic says:

      An idea rejected by all the civilized societies in the world for the last century and most of the uncivilized ones too.

      ……….because the cost to society in having a mass of uneducated kiddies is much higher.

      Home schooled….. ?

  6. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and junior culture critic says:

    Is it still true that the single biggest determinate of success in school is the number of hours of involvement of parents with kiddies?

    My parents spent about zero time with me. Dad paid an allowance conditioned on book reports being submitted. Books that weren’t part of the school. His statement: you are required to succeed in spite of your school.

    What a bastard…….. but I read and reported……..

    Mom typed my reports until on my own I thought learning to type in the 9th grade was a good idea. Lots of girls in that class.

    I was pretty dumb at 14. Well read….. but pretty dumb.

    • NewFormatSux says:

      So that’s why so many of your posts read like book reports. You and Mr ConFusion.

      “Well read….. but pretty dumb.”
      Now it’s only half true.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and junior culture critic says:

        Yep…. I recognize that.

        We all are just grown up kiddies….. what our parents made us.

        …………………unless you think about it.

        Yea, verily!

  7. Kevin Roa says:

    I blame the Canadians.

  8. Egon Ruuda says:

    The swedish school system is not even close to “free choise” and the worsening of the PISA scores is due to increasing union (national union of labour or “LO” membership is extremely high) interference. They have even made it impossible to fire bad teachers, and the new dumbed down corriculum has much more to do with the lower PISA scores than the school choise reform.

    You can not just open a private school in sweden without government approoval, so most of those “free choise” schools are religious, and the very few that is not religious has tremendously good PISA scores as well as compare extremely well in EU wide testing.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and junior culture critic says:

      Thanks Egon

      I was going to comment the link didn’t really give any analysis as to WHY Sweden was going down hill. What you say makes sense.

      Unions have their pros and cons just like everything else.

      Always fun to see the dynamic of good intentions crash on the shores of reality. Like most childhood dreams.

    • norman says:

      The danish school system same… last i see.. 10% not national .. city get 80% state costs meet. maybe 90%… local parent may, only maybe, depending on income.. other 10% city meet. if you are on welfare ye may send your kids on city bus and crossing city centre is more dangerous then burb rushed hour carpark at 08:00

      well actually welfare kids run double risk

      we got ‘free schools’ we got rudolf stiener schools

      Now listen-up I live in Aarhus , east jutland… band group Gnags.. (famous in india tkx to annan, ships cook heaven here late 1970s ) opps that is not factz

      so end of 10yr national school, then state exam.. one examiner not kids teacher. and anyway it all about learning (not teaching.. ‘merican .. educator is alien) ahhh anyways, work group is everything into third level

      ahhh i am inhabile.. my east greenland mate he constant constant on about how ‘they’ took him from the line and all the others, how he victim, how sis kill self…

      All i want to say is; my parents generation had no choice but send kids early or late to local school…

      my kids only got bored

      my gran kids may wake up

      • norman says:

        I have so much to say about ‘education’ agggg

        some day, some day…

        how newzealand draw back from neo-lib system, how finland embrace..

        ahhh it is sad

        notice in Utopia – John Pilger

        ho0wwwwww state spend $$$$

  9. freddybobs68k says:

    There is more than one way to skin a cat. It’s like we have run out of ideas and want to double down on the only idea we have. As if somehow it will produce the best outcome in all scenarios. If we just do more of it and more diligently. We pretend there are no downsides, or at least they are all trumped by the advantages. It’s not up for discussion.

  10. Please give Obama a golden parachute so everything doesn't turn to shit says:

    Thank you comrade Dave

    As Amerika’s unionized public schools continue to churn out continue to churn out unprecedented numbers of illiterate Democrat Voters totally dependent upon Government, the goal of overwhelming the system and bringing about the glorious statist paradise where all are equally poor, as in our beloved Cuba or North Korea, except us ruling elites ha ha!

    Of course, once the change we’ve been waiting for comes, those collecting benefits who can’t be re-educated, will be terminated.

    We abort babies, don’t we? How much more unproductive sloth with no hope of benefiting society, like the elderly, and Bobbo.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and junior culture critic says:

      Gee Alfie–after thanking Uncle Dave for being a commie for linking to an article that supports his position, you launch into complete word salad.

      Nothing you say makes any sense, and I’m not talking about the typos.

      Haw, haw. Poor old Alfie. Like some closeted homosexual, I’m starting to think you are upset you weren’t aborted. Is that it Alfie??? Doomed to suffer on planet Earth until you are spirited away? You can’t bring yourself to do the right thing, so blame others for not doing the wrong thing? Convoluted I’d say.

      I feel your pain.

      Unions. …… C’mon Alfie. Do you agree or disagree that Unions do prevent more merit based teaching systems from being experimented with? Assuming you will agree, what are you going to think when the best teachers in America produce a bunch of liberal biased kiddies.

      “The truth has a liberal bias.”/// Ain’t that a kick in the balls….. politically speaking?

      • Please give Obama a golden parachute so everything doesn't turn to shit says:

        Millennials and their children, bankrupted by you and your entitlement crazed ilk, should be the first to go when the elderly are euthanized because society can no longer afford them.

        They kill babies, don’t they? Yes, they do in spite of the fact such have an entire productive life ahead of them, brimming with potential.

        But you crusty old geezer parasites, sucking up the wealth of society while you plot to consume even more wealth that doesn’t belong to you, should be terminated and disposed of the least expensive manner.

        How can you object. You reject God, so everything is relative to what people believe is right or wrong. I can assure you, the notion geezers should stop consuming wealth better spent on the children, is right.

        Good by bobbo, reaping what you sowed sure made me happy.

  11. Johnny Can't Intenet! says:

    There’s a difference between “for profit” prisons and the voucher system for schools. The difference is CHOICE! And when there are CHOICES there is HEALTHY COMPETITION! How hard of a slap upside the head does this concept of competition take for your liberal power mongers to understand?! Prisons are NOTHING about choice and should be avoided by CHOOSING to NOT break the law!!! (But if you choose to give up your rights and the ability to choose where you go in life then I’m OK with that — just don’t bitch and complain when you drop the soap!)

    People should be allowed to CHOOSE how smart (free) they want to be as well as how smart (free) they want their kids to be. But since kids aren’t able to make choices for themselves then that’s why there should be testing and some sort of a “system” to administer it — to see if kids are on par with what the experts say they should be on par with. And it’s this “testing” that we currently have which needs a serious overhaul — NOT more busing, more money and all the usual bullshit you usually hear from all the low-life politicians/administrators who waste it.

    Once a kid shows that he/she isn’t achieving the required skills then the choice of where that kid goes to school should no longer be up to whoever is doing the educating. It’s really just that simple.

    For example, if a kid is going to a low performing school and doesn’t know how to do simple math or able to read by say age 10 then the school or parent should then be allowed to make better choices of where that kid goes. What’s more, the testing of each kid should be given at LEAST once a year and not just at certain grade levels. Think of it like a license that your kid has — NOT YOU AND CERTAINLY NOT THE “SYSTEM”!

    So when you set a STANDARD that all children must meet you help those doing the educating as well as the kids. But when you try to CONTROL the education system with insane things like tenure you only help the few selfish participants (workers).

    This really boils down to an argument of freedom versus dictatorship. No one wants to see stupid ignorant people who can’t even add 2+2. But that’s exactly what you get in a controlled socialist dictatorship — equal stupidity! So there should be a CHOICE if you indeed consider yourself to be an American.

    But if that’s too hard for you to understand then think of it this way: There simply has to be a few uneducated people in the world to give VALUE to those who CHOOSE to do the work and get educated. The only thing we Americans need to do is make sure that anyone who WANTS an education is freely and equally able to GET IT at any age — but NOT FORCED TO TAKE IT! So even with a voucher system there has to be LIMITS!

    And if you want to throw the minority disadvantage argument into the mix then let’s deal with the fact that they’re disadvantaged. There’s often a damn good reason certain people are disadvantaged — they’re stupid! It has almost nothing to do with the fact that they’re black, brown, green or purple. Though I will admit that I said “almost” since I won’t deny the fact that there are still a FEW ignorant asshole racists with power.

    We simply shouldn’t MAKE stupid people go to school particularly when they CHOOSE their life and choose to do stupid things like disrupt classrooms. But then there’s the rub because about the only thing society owes anyone is that they know where THEIR CHOICES are likely leading them. And yes, there should be better choices, hence this very “voucher” argument.

    … We can even take this one step further by re-instituting orphanages where kids can be taken OUT of the destructive environments that they are forced to live in too. Though I prefer to take it two steps further and say there should also be a mandatory sterilization for anyone who cares to keep their (natural) kids and then DECIDES to go on a public assistance program. But then, I’m all about choice and RESPONSIBILITY — which seems to still be a foreign concept to the liberal side of the political spectrum.

    • bobbo, the liberal power monger and junior social critic says:

      I’m not looking forward to this, but let’s see:

      There’s a difference between “for profit” prisons and the voucher system for schools. // Thats true. Similarities too. I wonder if you are going to compare the two or simply slop into one all or nothing camp or the other?

      The difference is CHOICE! And when there are CHOICES there is HEALTHY COMPETITION! /// Both prisons and schools involve choice. Just about different issues.

      How hard of a slap upside the head does this concept of competition take for your liberal power mongers to understand?! Prisons are NOTHING about choice and should be avoided by CHOOSING to NOT break the law!!! /// The relevant “choice” here is of the electorate and citizenry to have the CHOICE NOT TO HAVE FOR PROFIT PRISON systems. Its not about the inmates. But the long term exclusive contract with no lost profit provision guarantees is beyond this OP. No doubt, it is subtext for good Unc Dave’s comment.

      (But if you choose to give up your rights and the ability to choose where you go in life then I’m OK with that — just don’t bitch and complain when you drop the soap!) /// Like I said, the relevant aspect of choice has escaped you.

      People should be allowed to CHOOSE how smart (free) they want to be as well as how smart (free) they want their kids to be. But since kids aren’t able to make choices for themselves then that’s why there should be testing and some sort of a “system” to administer it — to see if kids are on par with what the experts say they should be on par with. And it’s this “testing” that we currently have which needs a serious overhaul — NOT more busing, more money and all the usual bullshit you usually hear from all the low-life politicians/administrators who waste it. /// Sounds like vague gibberish setting up a straw man who is fishing for red herrings….. unless you pull it all together by identifying how the testing can be improved. ……… why am I doubtful?

      Once a kid shows that he/she isn’t achieving the required skills then the choice of where that kid goes to school should no longer be up to whoever is doing the educating. It’s really just that simple. //// I’m with you so far……

      For example, if a kid is going to a low performing school and doesn’t know how to do simple math or able to read by say age 10 then the school or parent should then be allowed to make better choices of where that kid goes. /// You just said that.

      What’s more, the testing of each kid should be given at LEAST once a year and not just at certain grade levels. Think of it like a license that your kid has — NOT YOU AND CERTAINLY NOT THE “SYSTEM”! /// I was tested and ranked EVERY WEEK. I think a year is too long to let bad teaching/student performance go on.

      So when you set a STANDARD that all children must meet you help those doing the educating as well as the kids. But when you try to CONTROL the education system with insane things like tenure you only help the few selfish participants (workers). /// I agree…. given some reasonable assumptions about your unstated assumptions.

      This really boils down to an argument of freedom versus dictatorship. No one wants to see stupid ignorant people who can’t even add 2+2. But that’s exactly what you get in a controlled socialist dictatorship — equal stupidity! So there should be a CHOICE if you indeed consider yourself to be an American. /// I think you are losing your grasp of basic education requirements in favor of some kneejerk jingoistic rank. The same dictatorship produces results from the best in the world to the worst. IE==more than one variable at work. Being able to add 2+2, I’m sure you appreciate the >1 complexity.

      But if that’s too hard for you to understand then think of it this way: There simply has to be a few uneducated people in the world to give VALUE to those who CHOOSE to do the work and get educated. The only thing we Americans need to do is make sure that anyone who WANTS an education is freely and equally able to GET IT at any age — but NOT FORCED TO TAKE IT! So even with a voucher system there has to be LIMITS! /// Do you share a keyboard with Alfie?

      And if you want to throw the minority disadvantage argument into the mix then let’s deal with the fact that they’re disadvantaged. There’s often a damn good reason certain people are disadvantaged — they’re stupid! /// Ha, ha. Back to one variable analysis huh?

      It has almost nothing to do with the fact that they’re black, brown, green or purple. Though I will admit that I said “almost” since I won’t deny the fact that there are still a FEW ignorant asshole racists with power. /// “almost”? What might those other variables be?

      We simply shouldn’t MAKE stupid people go to school particularly when they CHOOSE their life and choose to do stupid things like disrupt classrooms. //// Hmmm….. some educational theory there. Most current say the distribution is bi-polar. Its the extremely stupid and the extremely smart students that disrupt a system with either needing different remedies. Somehow, skin color doesn’t come into that analysis===almost.

      But then there’s the rub because about the only thing society owes anyone is that they know where THEIR CHOICES are likely leading them. And yes, there should be better choices, hence this very “voucher” argument. /// Ok, but a quibble is saved for later should it come up.

      … We can even take this one step further by re-instituting orphanages where kids can be taken OUT of the destructive environments that they are forced to live in too. /// Rare to see the pro-orhanage argument. Alfie will tell you that if good solid Christians were allowed to adopt then there would be no need for orphanages, schools would turn out good proud republican stock, and all would be right in this world. BUT the Obama gubment wants welfare slaves to vote Dumbo, so the real solutions will always evade us. Why don’t you deal with this reality?

      Though I prefer to take it two steps further and say there should also be a mandatory sterilization for anyone who cares to keep their (natural) kids and then DECIDES to go on a public assistance program. /// Ooooh…. Eugenics with a strong gubment twist. I said yesterday I agreed after the subject not arising here on DU for several years…. and now twice in two days. Good social engineering. I’m all for it. But god loves the retard. I’m sure some thumpers will disagree with us.

      But then, I’m all about choice and RESPONSIBILITY — which seems to still be a foreign concept to the liberal side of the political spectrum. //// Well, I’m a liberal monger and I’m all for your program of responsibile eugenics. Its what school voucher programs are all about.

      Yea Jesus!!!!

    • Please give Obama a golden parachute so everything doesn't turn to shit says:

      The only time Democrat Statists tout choice (or privacy) is during pregnancy, otherwise you will do as they command, or pay higher costs or go to jail.

      There is a tyrannical streak, in the color of yellow as it never applies to Muslims, going right down every Democrat’s back.

      • Greg Allen says:

        >> The only time Democrat Statists tout choice (or privacy) is during pregnancy, otherwise you will do as they command, or pay higher costs or go to jail.

        Long on the persecution complex, short on specifics.

  12. NewFormatSux says:

    “The same can be said of opponents, whose insistence, in the face of all evidence, that school choice is harmful has led them to ignore its real achievements.”

    http://nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/does-school-choice-work

    http://mathematica-mpr.com/~/media/publications/PDFs/education/charter_long-term_wp.pdf

    • Greg Allen says:

      America has always had school choice. — public, private, perochial, homeschool, etc. It’s been that way for generations.

      But, the RWTP “school choice” is a code word for draining money from the public schools and giving it to private enterprise.

      • NewFormatSux says:

        I thought the point was to educate children, not to give money to public schools.

  13. pedro says:

    I see that Bobbo’s Bipolar Menagerie is alive and well. Still missing some answers to himself but I guess the length of his comments makes up for that

    • bobbo, the liberal power monger and junior social critic says:

      Alfie–just how hazy is your conception of yourself? You are posting complete nonsense no more responsive to the OP or my item by item response than SA’s completely irrelevant copy and paste from whatever random number generating bot he uses.

      Take any one line/sentence/idea I have posted…or anyone else…. and actually respond to it?

      I mean….. you ought to at least try.

      • bobbo, the liberal power monger and junior social critic says:

        Well……. that misplaced response does look bi-polar. Ha, ha.

        You know Pedro, you constantly complain about my long responses actually missing the fact that my responses are quite short.

        Its the material I am responding to that is long.

        If you ever responded to anything posted, you might more readily see that.

      • Please give Obama a golden parachute so everything doesn't turn to shit says:

        Uncle Dave’s endless attacks on liberty are tiresome, taking every possible form. He is always for Tyrannuical rule, that’s the lefty way. The STATE knows best, conform or else.

        Government forbid anyone try to be an American and choose to educate their children in more traditional fashion, where they actually learn to read and write and think critically on the pressing issues of life…no, they must learn to chant like all fellow leftists—be like Pavlov’s dog whenever the words “Republican,Conservative,Tea Party” appear, have an immediate and automatic sense of revulsion, without any link to rational reasons for it.

        http://paulshanklin.com/songsoftherevolution.html

        So they vote Democrat and stay on the Plantation Dixie Democrats constructed after they lost the civil war.

        • bobbo, the liberal power monger and junior social critic says:

          Alfie says:
          7/24/2014 at 8:20 am

          Uncle Dave’s endless attacks on liberty /// Be specific. Take this OP for instance. Where is the attack on liberty? The OP just to begin with is about Sweden.

          are tiresome, taking every possible form. /// Lots of different approaches should keep whatever he is doing “fresh” rather than tiresome.

          He is always for Tyrannuical rule, that’s the lefty way. The STATE knows best, conform or else. /// Isn’t this OP about how the Swedish gubment is getting it wrong? About how to make competition in education even better by avoiding the pitfalls of the Swedish vouchere system?

          Government forbid anyone try to be an American and choose to educate their children in more traditional fashion, where they actually learn to read and write and think critically on the pressing issues of life…/// where is that happening? Be specific.

          no, they must learn to chant like all fellow leftists—be like Pavlov’s dog whenever the words “Republican,Conservative,Tea Party” appear, have an immediate and automatic sense of revulsion, without any link to rational reasons for it. /// More than any other person on this forum this describes YOU and your equal and opposite reaction to Obama. Its right in your nom de flame. This is so head up your ass stupid, I’d think in a product of humor, but you have precious little of that.

          http://paulshanklin.com/songsoftherevolution.html

          So they vote Democrat and stay on the Plantation Dixie Democrats constructed after they lost the civil war. //// Helped along by the Pukes refusing them party membership in any way except accepting their vote and nothing else.

          C’mon Alfie. What is your live except one long kneejerk reaction of talking points and bumper stickers. Surely, this all started as a joke and simply has become perverse?

          Be honest, be direct. Think.

          Do better.

  14. Greg Allen says:

    The GOPs privitization obsession was never a fact-based policy.

    Like so many conservative positions, it was visceral and faith-based. i.e. “Government is bad. Private industry is always cheaper, faster and better.”

    Uh… no. Not always! In the real, fact-based world the government does some things better and public education would be one of those things.

    Private industry does a great job educating the upper class. Church-based private schools also have their niche. So does homeschooling.

    But to educate the masses to be good citizens and useful workers — the government is the only real game in town.

    Sorry conservatives.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      The mail is the best example. Guberment does it for 1/10th the cost and is everywhere. Private industry uses it for many areas it doesn’t have coverage while trying to kill it off so they can charg x20 times more.

      Alfie types….. so mindless.

  15. t0llyb0ng says:

    Condi licked balls in Chippewa Falls
    & rode a cock in Oconomowoc

    downhill is one word
    no hyphen in bipolar
    no hyphen in reeducated
    strawman is one word

    (Stuff they should o’ taught ye in school––but didn’t.)

    Are they still building office towers?  Who is going to commute to all the new office towers & sit there all day, doing what?

    The education system is an outdated, fascistic baby-sitting service.  Sweden might be realizing it & confronting it a few years earlier than we USians.  Maybe they “see the writing on the wall.”

    Are they still building suburbs?  Will the denizens of far-flung suburbs still commute to office towers in overpriced, oversized vee-hickles?  How long can it go on?

    Go ahead, have another baby.  You know you want to.

  16. t0llyb0ng says:

    Condi took a pokin’ in Pekin
    & got her pussy eaten in Wheaton

  17. JudgeHooker says:

    Vouchers were meant to allow people to choose generally superior parochial schools, not to create the useless charter school system. Ah but the “separation of church and state” Nazis got in the way of that too. Of course the real problem is that schools seem unable to weed out those who aren’t really interested in an education, bringing down the quality of instruction as well as life in general in our public schools. You only get out of it what you are willing to put in. We need to strengthen the public system by increasing the schools ability to enforce. Handing them a little more money wouldn’t hurt either.

  18. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist and junior culture critic says:

    NotSatisfyinglyAnalytical==can you relate this post to the OP? And if not, why post it especially as it is gibberish?

    How in any way would the rich find reliability a hard price to pay?

    Your off topic copy and paste remarks from Twain were much better. Go back to him.

    I’d much prefer to see you deleted again. Makes my own off topic posts stand out more.

  19. NewFormatSux says:

    It relates quiet well. That’s where reading comprehension comes into play.

  20. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    Home schooled?