Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Private v. Public, as Schools, as Prisons?

As we think about what social institutions affect individual behavior for good or bad, maybe this new study showing that, with student environment controlled for, private schools do no better than public ones for low-income students can help us understand that schools don’t affect youths’s learning as much as their families and friends and that the same just might apply for whether their behavior is lawful or not. And maybe start emphasizing putting our money long-term in those areas that have the most payoff and not keep waiting until those areas fail and then have to pay for the victims and destruction after the fact. Maybe. [For more evidence of higher effectiveness of peers than enforcers on substance abuse, see this article on the greater effectiveness of peer-led substance abuse programs over traditional approaches. Self-governance and mutual responsibility for each other as means to reduce governmental and policy intrusions in our lives. Hmm, what a concept. Maybe a nation will be founded on that someday.]

[Wanted me to talk about the superiority of private prisons to public? Well, for a more informed view, check out what Grits for Breakfast has to say about what’s happening in TX and then, of course, there’s always the formidable Texas Prison Bidness. This article on a couple of escapees in OK might also interest you.]

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