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Separate School and State — Just as Journalism and State are Separate

Here’s a letter that I sent yesterday to the New York Times:

The writers of the eight letters you published today on how to improve teaching join Susan Engel – author of the op-ed that sparked these letters – in utterly misdiagnosing the problem with K-12 education.

Suppose that newspapers were run by government and funded by taxpayers, and that each American was assigned to read only the newspaper published in his or her local area.  Clearly, the resulting quality of journalism would be atrocious.

Would anyone seriously suggest that this problem would be solved if only there were better schools of journalism, or higher pay for journalists, or more people who are “called” to journalism, or newspaper readers who take more active roles in digesting and interpreting the news?  Surely not.  All sensible people would understand that these fixes would all fail as long as newspapers faced no competition – indeed, as long as journalism is produced by the state.

Why, then, does not Ms. Engel or any of your letter writers see that K-12 education will continue to stink as long as it remains a government-run monopoly?

Donald J. Boudreaux