Liberia’s broken education system: will school choice work?
Follow the debates about school choice for long enough and you’ll unearth arguments that persist for decade after decade. Among them: the poor can’t handle school choice. Low-income parents can’t deal with school choice because they aren’t intelligent enough to choose schools. Education has to be a government function because low-income parents can’t afford tuition.
These clichés are being put to the test in Liberia. As David Pilling, the Financial Times’s Africa editor, reports, Liberia is trying to solve perennial education problems by outsourcing the management of hundreds of schools to the private sector.