In the 50 years since economist Milton Friedman published "The Role of Government in Education"1 scholars and policy makers have been debating how parental choice through market mechanisms can and does operate in education. Market "optimists" argue that education is a service that can be produced under a variety of arrangements and that parents are natural education consumers.2 Market "pessimists" argue that education is a public good that should be produced in government-run schools, and that school choice programs suffer "market failure" because only advantaged families will have the resources and experience to choose effectively.3 These academic debates continue to this day.
Cornman, S. Q., Stewart, T., & Wolf, P. J. (2007). The Evolution of School Choice Consumers: Parent and Student Voices on the Second Year of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. School Choice Demonstration Project. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/scdp/33