Public School Closure & Free Market Principles

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.  In defending your decision you are required to isolate 4 economic principles / concepts studied in Unit 1 (i.e., see list below for examples) 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 to the demand for education.  How do you see the supply and demand for education being addressed in your decision?
HINT → a 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 intersect with the growing trend of "majority marginalization"?
  • Do public schools connect with the growing interest in fostering "enlightened self-interest" (i.e., individual, social/community, and environmental considerations)?
  • 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 make other  privileged students/families comfortable 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?

Fact Pattern & Data

VIDEO TUTORIAL The Invisible Hand & the Common Good
COMPONENT 1 → Make and state your decision (1 sentence in length).
COMPONENT 2Defend your decision by using 4 economic principles / concepts studied in Unit 1 to justify it.  Refer directly to the data provided in your justification (8 sentences per economic principle / concept).
COMPONENT 3Pose a powerful question about one of the 4 economic principles / concepts raised in your decision and defence of a school closure.  Your question should extend the reader's thinking beyond what is discussed in the scenario itself and/or captured in the data provided.  What is missing from the information provided?  What else needs to be considered? (1 sentence in length)
COMPONENT 4 → Provide a sample answer to your question (8 sentences in length).

Total Sentences 42.

PDF Copy of Rubric