Public School Closure & Free Market Principles Pitch

At the heart of economics is the study, science, and act of decision-making in the face of resource scarcity. The following fact pattern and data offer a challenging problem that will demand a decision requiring creativity, critical thought, hard calculations, and ultimately seemingly impossible trade-offs.  After careful analysis, you must take a decision and defend it by using UNIT 1 concepts & principles.

In defending your decision you are required to advance 4 concepts &/or principles studied in UNIT 1 (i.e., see long list below) that support your conclusion. 

Remember, M. Friedman advocated for the application of free market principles to the supply of education.  Start by connecting the school closure data and 3 school profiles detailed in the Scenario below to the demand for education.  How do you see the supply and demand for education being addressed by your decision?
HINTSa possible starting point ... ask yourself what is the purpose of public schools?

  • Are public schools economic engines?
  • Do public schools serve an important social or economic purpose?
  • How do public schools link to "the common good"?
  • Some experts characterize public schools as "the best 'better future' lever for the many".
  • Do public schools somehow combat the growing trend of "majority marginalization"?
  • Do public schools connect with the growing interest in fostering "enlightened self-interest" (i.e., economic value, social value, and ecological value)?
  • Education in Latin means "to lead out from..."
  • Research the concept "interest convergence" and what is known as the "bliss point" -- i.e., how many privileged students are needed at an under-enrolled school to incentivize other  privileged students/families to attend that school?
  • What is the "price" or value of public versus private (independent or charter schools) education?
  • What stakeholders are on the demand-side and the supply-side of education?
  • Is there a decision that rewards innovation?
  • Is there a decision that best strikes a fair or just distribution of education resources?

School Closure Fact Pattern & Data


VIDEO TUTORIAL The Invisible Hand & the Common Good

PART 1State your school closure decision (1 sentence in length).
PART 2State the Single Most Compelling Fact that underpins your school closure decision (1 sentence in length).
PART 3Defend your decision by using 4 concepts &/or principles studied in UNIT 1.  You MUST directly reference scenario data in your justification (8 sentences per concept/principle).  EXCEED EXPECTATIONS by directly referencing/quoting secondary source research in PART 3.
PART 4Pose a powerful follow-up question about one of the 4 concepts/principles used to support your decision.  Your question should extend the reader's thinking beyond what is discussed in the scenario itself and/or captured in the data provided.  For example, what is missing from the information provided?  What else needs to be considered? What spill-over effects or negative externalities must be considered.  Etc. (1 sentence in length).
PART 5Provide a sample answer to your question (8 sentences in length).

Total Sentences 43.

PDF Copy of Rubric