Our Founders

The Friedmans on School Choice

The Friedmans engaged all Americans

TO EXPLAIN THE INTENTIONS AND MECHANICS OF SCHOOL CHOICE

Milton and Rose D. Friedman’s writing and opinions were featured in a variety of media, such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and CNBC. Explore this page to read the Friedmans’ works and browse a collection of their famous quotes.

  • MILTON FRIEDMAN ON BUSTING THE SCHOOL MONOPOLY

    “The only solution is to break the monopoly, introduce competition and give the customers alternatives.”

  • PUBLIC SCHOOLS: MAKE THEM PRIVATE

    “A greatly improved educational system can do more than anything else to limit the harm to our social stability from a permanent and large underclass.”

  • WHY AMERICA NEEDS SCHOOL VOUCHERS

    “The major objective of educational vouchers is much more ambitious. It is to drag education out of the 19th century – here it has been mired for far too long – and into the 21st century, by introducing competition on a broad scale.”

  • MILTON FRIEDMAN ON VOUCHERS

    “Our goal is to have a system in which every family in the U.S. will be able to choose for itself the school to which its children go. We are far from that ultimate result. If we had that – a system of free choice – we would also have a system of competition, innovation, which would change the character of education.”

  • THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN EDUCATION

    The general trend in our times toward increasing intervention by the state in economic affairs has led to a concentration of attention and dispute on…
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  • MILTON FRIEDMAN ON DECENTRALIZING SCHOOLS

    “This is the right way to decentralize schooling, to give parents more effective control over schools, and to open up opportunities for children in the…
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  • SELLING SCHOOL LIKE GROCERIES: THE VOUCHER IDEA

    “A fable may dramatize the true source of the nation’s present discontent with our public schools: Suppose that, 50 or 75 years ago the U.S.…
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  • WHATS WRONG WITH OUR SCHOOLS?

    Education has always been a major component of the American Dream. In Puritan New England, schools were quickly established, first as an adjunct of the…
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  • WHO WINS, WHO LOSES – A LOOK AT THE FUTURE

    All school age children are entitled to receive a voucher. The percentage of all students in private schools has risen from 10 percent to 30…
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  • THE VOUCHER CHALLENGE

    Those of us who have long worked to promote educational choice have mixed feelings when we observe the current scene. On the one hand, sprouts…
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  • FOUNDER’S LETTER

    This foundation is the culmination of what has been one of our main interests for more than four decades: improvement in the quality of the…
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  • If you end up with a population that doesn’t know how to read, doesn’t know how to write, knows nothing about history, knows nothing about geography, who’s going to conduct the affairs of the country?

    -Rose D. Friedman

  • Governments never learn. Only people learn.

    -Milton Friedman

  • Competition would force the government schools to shape up or close down.

    -Rose D. Friedman

  • A stable and democratic society is impossible without a minimum degree of literacy and knowledge on the part of most citizens and without widespread acceptance of some common set of values. Education can contribute to both.

    -Milton Friedman

  • I blame only those well-meaning persons who, while sending their own children to private schools, self-righteously lecture the ‘lower classes’ about their responsibility to put up with government-supplied pabulum in the ‘public interest.

    -Milton Friedman

  • Nor is it ever made clear why if the public school system is performing so magnificently, it need fear competition from nonpublic, competitive schools.

    -Milton Friedman

  • I sense that we are on the verge of a breakthrough in one state or another which will then sweep like wildfire through the rest of the country as it demonstrates its effectiveness.

    -Milton Friedman

  • We have so far only seen the early fruits from the introduction of vouchers, from giving parents a choice. The best is yet to come as competition and the market work their wonders.

    -Milton Friedman

  • Education spending will be most effective if it relies on parental choice and private initiative — the building blocks of success throughout our society.

    -Milton Friedman

  • The purpose of having free choice is to provide competition and allow the educational industry to get out of the 17th century and get into the 21st century and have more innovation and involvement.

    -Milton Friedman

  • Just as the breakup of the Ma Bell monopoly led to a revolution in communications, a breakup of the school monopoly would lead to a revolution in schooling.

    -Milton Friedman