Fifty years ago, Milton Friedman had the ground-breaking idea to improve public education with school vouchers. By separating government financing of education from government administration of schools, Friedman argued, “parents at all income levels would have the freedom to choose the schools their children attend.”
Liberty & Learning is a collection of essays from the nation’s top education experts evaluating the progress of Friedman’s innovative idea and reflecting on its merits in the 21st century. The book also contains a special prologue and epilogue by Milton Friedman himself.
The contributors to this volume take a variety of approaches to Friedman’s voucher idea. All of them assess the merit of Friedman’s plan through an energetic, contemporary perspective, though some authors take a theoretical position, while others employ a very pragmatic approach.
"The contributors offer a thoughtful look at the movement for school choice. Friedman offers an epilogue critical of the power of the teachers' unions and promising to continue to fight for vouchers. Readers interested in education will appreciate the well-considered arguments presented in this thought-provoking book."
-Vanessa Bush, Booklist, American Library Association
"Liberty & Learning represents a major critical reassessment of the Friedman's vision for school choice. It is by no means just a paean to the genius of the voucher idea. The Friedmans themselves have always relished the spirited debate, and several contributors are ready to give it to them."
-School Choice Advocate
“The movement remains in its infancy, and the ‘pure’ voucher system Milton Friedman proposed has still never been instituted anywhere in the United States. This slim volume, with contributions from 10 educational experts of varying ideological hues, tries to explain why and where to go from here. Suggestions in the book range from downplaying the rhetoric of liberty and adopting the rhetoric of community values to sell vouchers to Myron Lieberman’s suggestion that voucher supporters stop compromising and push harder for system wide vouchers for everybody. Abigail Thernstrom suggests a broad voucher program may be the last hope for many African Americans. And James Tooley notes the remarkable 'mushrooming' of inexpensive and superior private schools in poor regions from India to Ghana.”
-Alan W. Bock, Orange County Register
Robert C. Enlow
Robert C. Enlow is the executive director of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation. In January 2009, Robert Enlow assumed the role of President and CEO of the Foundation for Educational Choice, the school choice legacy foundation of Milton and Rose Friedman. Previously, Robert had served as executive director of the Foundation for Educational Choice since late 2004. He joined the Foundation when it first opened in 1996, serving as fundraiser, projects coordinator, and vice president before being named executive director.
Under his leadership, the Foundation has become one of the nation’s leading advocates for school choice, working in dozens of states to advance the issue by disseminating research, sponsoring seminars, undertaking advertising campaigns, organizing community leaders, and providing grants.
He is the co-editor of the book Liberty and Learning, Milton Friedman’s Voucher Idea at Fifty, author of Grading Vouchers, Ranking America’s School Choice Programs, and co-author of School Choice: A Reform that Works and Early School Choice, a chapter in An Education Agenda: Let Parents Choose Their Children’s School. His articles and quotes have appeared in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Arizona Republic, National Review, and USA Today.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Robert lived and worked in England where he served as a Deputy Day Center Manager and Social Worker for St. Botolph's Project, an organization providing rehabilitative care and services to homeless men, women, and families. While in England, he also served on the School Board of two inner-city schools in London, Hillmead Infants and Juniors School, where he chaired the Finance Committee and served on the Building and Curriculum Committees. During his tenure, the success of the schools was nationally recognized in an inspection by Her Majesty's Office of Standards in Education Department (OFSTED).
From 1990-1992, Robert attended Oxford University where he worked on a post-graduate degree in Theology. He received his BA degree from Seattle Pacific University.
Robert has served as Private Sector Chairman of the Education Task Force for the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that also recognized him as the Private Sector Member of the Year. He is also a board member of School Choice Ohio and the Economic Club of Indiana, and serves on the Indiana State Advisory Committee for the US Commission on Civil Rights.
Lenore T. Ealy
Lenore T. Ealy is president of Thinkitecture, Inc., a consultancy engaged in understanding and promoting the transformative work of philanthropy and the voluntary sector. She is an affiliated senior scholar with George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and the founding editor of the journal Conversations on Philanthropy. Ealy earned an M.A. in history from the University of Alabama, where she studied with Forrest McDonald, and a Ph.D. in the history of moral and political thought from Johns Hopkins.