If President Obama is going to foist a “Swedish model” for bank reform on the American public, he should also toss in some Swedish-style public education reform while he’s at it…
It may sound out of place in Sweden, that paragon of taxpayer-funded cradle-to-grave welfare. But a sweeping reform of the school system has survived the critics and 16 years later is spreading and attracting interest abroad….Since the change was introduced in 1992 by a center-right government that briefly replaced the long-governing Social Democrats, the numbers have shot up. In 1992, 1.7 percent of high schoolers and 1 percent of elementary schoolchildren were privately educated. Now the figures are 17 percent and 9 percent….
Before the reform, most families depended on state-run schools following a uniform national curriculum. Now they can turn to the “friskolor,” or “independent schools,” which choose their own teaching methods and staff, and manage their own buildings.
They remain completely government-financed and are not allowed to charge tuition fees. The difference is that their government funding goes to private companies which then try to run the schools more cost-effectively and keep whatever taxpayer money they save.