Saturday, February 21, 2009

Education rights and wrong?

Do the middle classes dominate the best schools or are they the best schools because they are dominated by the middle classes!?!

The introduction of lotteries to determine school admissions will simply destroy the best schools whilst failing to improve other schools.


xoggoth said...

Definitely the latter.

Mark Wadsworth said...

S, that's only one link in the first para, I shall have to mark you down for that.

Actually, both explanations are true. If one state school is better than the others, then house prices in that area rise. So only wealthier people can afford to move there, and as wealthier people tend to have more stable families etc (it's the stability that's important, not the wealth) their kids tend to do better, so further improving the school, thus further pushing up house prices etc in a self-reinforcing spiral. This phenomenon is called 'agglomeration'.

The joke is that such 'free' schools aren't free at all. Apart from the obvious point that wealthier people pay far more in taxes than the 'free' education actually costs, if you have to pay a £100,000 premium to buy a house in that area, then actually you are paying an extra £7,000 on your mortgage as well.

Land Value Tax and vouchers for education will sort all that out.

Snafu said...

Mark, I have no problem with school vouchers and breaking the link between education and Government experts once and for all.

I really need to have a think about the benefits of Land Value Tax. All taxes distort economic activity.

PS If both explanations are true, will poorer children destroy good schools with no commensurate increase in educational attainment elsewhere!?!

The Economic Voice said...

"Education, education, education." Concentrate on the 3 Rs I say:
Rooney, Ronaldo and Rafael. Innit.

marksany said...

define "good school"

Is it a school that get the best results? Or does it have the highest value add or the highest contextual value add. Lots of "good" schools are full of bright kids coasting to good exam results when they should be getting outstanding results.

What matters to a parent is how well your child will do at school and a "good" school is not necessarily the best option for your child.

Snafu said...

Marksany, I suspect a good school these days is one that turns it's back on the national curriculum and offers the international baccalaureat...

Let the market decide, good schools are oversubscribed, teachers at undersubscribed schools should be sacked.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Snafu, I was talking about LVT in the specific and narrow context of 'good schools'.

Let us assume that even with vouchers, local councils can make it easier or harder for competing schools to open up in an area. Those that make it easier will see property values and hence land values rise.

It is quite clear that people are prepared to pay more to live near a good school, but with vouchers and LVT, instead of the gains accruing purely to whomever sells up and moves away (for example because their children have finished school and started university or training) the gains would accrue partly to the more liberal councils - so they get more money for doing 'the right thing' and they can use this money to cut other taxes or to top up the education vouchers etc.

Or they might spend it on fact finding missions to bali, who knows, and frankly who cares?