Policy Documents

From School Choice to Educational Choice

Frederick M. Hess, Olivia Meeks, Bruno V. Manno –
April 4, 2011

The "whole school" approach to education reform has made it difficult for specialty education providers to get past bureaucratic rules and offer their services to parents, students, and teachers, write Frederick Hess, Olivia Meeks, and Bruno Manno in an American Enterprise Institute Outlook. "Unbundling" education means offering students an assortment of services instead of an indivisible package of "education." Such services could be packaged and customized to fit specific student needs and abilities. Virtual schooling and customized educational tools are breaking the whole-school model. Consumers need information on their choices as well as funding options that allow them to choose customized services, and school districts and schools need to begin restructuring to allow this flexibility.