The EG West Centre’s Pauline Dixon gives an excellent TED Talk on the myth that poor people need or desire government schooling over private education alternatives. (You can also listen to an interview Ms. Dixon gave with talkshow host Tom Woods here).
The idea that somehow without coercive, tax-financed government schooling run by self-serving politicians and their special interest cronies, the poor would be condemned to life of misery and ignorance is a complete lie that has absolutely no bearing in history.
Even in the world’s poorest developing nations, most impoverished parents opt to send their kids to for-profit, low-cost private schools (whether or not the State legally recognizes the institution), even when there is a “free” government school nearby. Why? Because since the parents are purchasing the education directly and the private schools’ revenue is 100% dependent on parental and student satisfaction, they must give high quality work relative to the parents’ other options or they’ll find themselves out of business.
Contrast this with the government schools, whose teachers are incompetent, lazy, corrupt, or in some cases outright criminals, which have the luxury of tax-financing and compulsory attendance (a kind of serfdom).