“Atrocious, monopolistic state schools”

As I’ve mentioned on this site before, one of my favorite books in recent years on development is The Beautiful Tree: A personal journey into how the world’s poorest people are educating themselves by James Tooley.  I had no idea that there were low-cost private schools for the extremely poor around the world. It was an eye opening, fascinating book.

Now, in exciting news, Tooley’s oft-collaborater Pauline Dixon has a book on the topic called International Aid And Private Schools For The Poor: Smiles, Miracles and Market.  The title of this post is taken from a glowing review by Gurcharan Das and there are many more to be found on the book’s Amazon page.

Here’s a brief description of the book:

“Using India as an example, Dr. Pauline Dixon examines the ways in which private, for-profit schools might serve as a successful alternative to state-run systems of education in impoverished communities around the world.

The book begins with a thorough history of India’s government-run schools – based on the traditional British model – which are currently characterized by high levels of waste, inefficiency and subpar student performance. The author goes on to present comprehensive survey and census data, along with analyses of different school management types and their effect on student achievement, teacher attendance and quality of facilities. The book also tackles the problem of inefficient allocation and use of international aid, and offers recommendations on the development of new mechanisms for utilizing aid resources in support of low-cost private schools.”

This one is moving to the top of my reading list.