Universal choice will render the existing testing structure obsolete as parents shop for services, and schools and educators compete transparently to offer a quality, affordable education product that meets the needs of the child.
Today’s teachers are obliged to operate in a virtual monopoly, offering the same product across different locations. When quality educators can compete to provide their services, unshackled from school districts, quality options can increase without increasing bureaucracies.
With parents free to choose, instead of the state serving as curator, parents will then be the curators. Children are unique, with unique comprehension and learning approaches. Parents will decide, from their child’s individual test results, whether the progress is acceptable. Even better, they can take their education dollars elsewhere if it is not.
Providing parents with the ability and the educational tools to make informed choices will improve outcomes and, over time, reduce the cost of education for all taxpayers.
Crowdsourcing works for TripAdvisor and Yelp. GreatSchools and similar rating services providing transparency will flourish in a competitive marketplace of education options. Georgia has tried more money. It's time to try more choice.
Benita M.Dodd is vice president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.