NewsTalk

Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Friedman's influence on Indy

July 30, 2008
As fans of the late Milton Friedman gather at the Conrad Hotel tomorrow night to celebrate the libertarian economist, theyâ??ll have plenty to crow about.

Ironically, though, Friedmanâ??s ideas about turning education over to market forces have failed to gain much traction anywhere â?? even in Indianapolis, the very city where his Foundation for Educational Choice is headquartered.

IUPUI political scientist Bill Blomquist says Indianapolis seems to be more receptive to Friedmanâ??s ideas than most places. Former Mayor Steve Goldsmith gained attention in the â??90s for introducing competition into government, (a thrust spearheaded by an Eli Lilly and Co. executive named Mitch Daniels). And the Republican mayorâ??s successors, Democrat Bart Peterson and Republican Greg Ballard, have been anything but hostile to competition.

Indeed, Peterson gained his own national attention by becoming the first mayor with authority to create charter schools, which creates competition within the public school system.

But Friedmanâ??s notion of turning education over to market forces in wholesale fashion hasnâ??t materialized here or anywhere, at least in this country, Blomquist says.

â??The idea that anybody ought to be able to open something and call it a school and take on customers and see what happens is an idea thatâ??s harder to get a larger population to embrace,â?? Blomquist says.

What do you think? Should education be â??deregulated?â??
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