Parental choice works, even for the poorest children on Earth

Patrick Gibbons

Dr. James Tooley has released a new book, The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves.

Dr. Tooley’s research has taken him across the globe, visiting several of the world’s poorest countries and studying the world’s poorest people. He finds, all over the world, that parents care for their children and that parents will make choices and sacrifices to improve the livelihood of their children.

Interestingly enough, he found that even families living on just a few dollars a day gave up a portion of their income to send their kids to local private schools, despite the availability of free, state-owned public schools. These parents believed the private schools, which charged as little as $2 a month for tuition, provided a better quality education than the public schools.

Not surprisingly, the parents were right. Dr. Tooley’s research suggests that the private schools, often ill-equipped compared to the public schools, outperformed the free, state-owned schools.

Visit this link on Wednesday to watch the book forum at the Cato Institute live: