1889 Institute presents “blueprint” for Oklahoma education reforms

OKLAHOMA CITY – The 1889 Institute, an Oklahoma state policy think tank, has published  “Blueprint for Education Reform: Educational Choice and Empowered Public Schools,” authored by the Institute’s president, Vance Fried – Riata Professor of Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University – wrote the seven-page analysis distributed last month.
The short paper discusses the need to change public policy in the face of innovation to allow for increasingly independent and customized educational alternatives. 
“We are still following an educational model pioneered in Prussia and created using 19th century factories as a model,” said Fried. “Our current educational system reached its productive apex in the 1950s. We’ve nearly doubled inflation-adjusted spending per student in Oklahoma just since 1972, with little to show for it.”
Fried recommends policies for greater educational choice so parents and students can take advantage of alternatives increasingly available today. In addition, the paper suggests significantly reducing state-level regulation of local public schools. 
“We are already moving toward an open education system,” said Fried. “Instead of pretending that we can or should know what that will look like by dictating the future, public policy needs to give room to parents, students, schools and teachers to innovate, in both private and public settings. This is the key to improvement for everybody.” 
The 1889 Institute is a new Oklahoma think tank committed to independent, principled state policy fostering limited and responsible government, free enterprise and a robust civil society. The paper sketched here, “Blueprint for Education Reform: Educational Choice and Empowered Public Schools,” can be found on the nonprofit’s website at http://1889institute.org.