Andrew Coulson directs the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, where he investigates the relative merits of alternative education policies. He studied the history of schooling from classical Greece to the present for his book Market Education: The Unknown History, has reviewed the worldwide research comparing different school systems, and conducted statistical analyses on education tax credits, vouchers, and charter schools.

Andrew has appeared on national radio and television, lectured internationally, and been published in newspapers such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Canada’s Globe and Mail and Sweden’s Svenska Dagbladet. He has testified before the United States House and Senate. He joined Cato after serving as senior fellow in education policy for the Mackinac Center. His first career was as a systems software engineer for Microsoft.

What Really Determines School District Spending?

Professional advancement in a bureaucracy comes from increasing one’s budget, not from achieving more with less as it does in the private sector. … more

Michigan is above average – but that’s not saying much

The school choice movement’s greatest failure

Is Every "Choice" a Good One?

Advancing the cause of educational excellence

Private K-12 scholarships: a viable alternative for Detroit’s school children

School Choice in the Empire State

"Poor Choices" Yield Better Education

The implications of Tooley’s findings are profound. Opposition to parental choice programs has often hinged on the belief that they would hurt the poor. In the wake of these results from Africa and India, it is difficult to imagine how that belief could be sustained. … more

Forging Consensus Comments by George Clowes and Jay Greene

This paper summarizes the comments offered by Dr. George Clowes and Dr. Jay P. Greene on my essay "Forging Consensus: Can the School Choice Community Come Together on an Explicit Goal and a Plan for Achieving It," as well as providing my responses to those comments.[1] Though it was written shortly after the comments were submitted, its release was deferred until permission to publish them was received. A complete, slightly revised version of Dr. Clowes’ comments is now available on-line.[2]
The sections that follow present the reviewers’ comments, grouped by topic. Comments are formatted as block quotations and ascribed to either Dr. Clowes (GC) or Dr. Greene (JPG). My responses appear in the body of the text.
Dr. Clowes is a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute and contributing editor of the paper School Choice News. Dr. Greene is a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute, and author of numerous scientific studies of American schools and school choice programs.


[1] http://www.mackinac.org/6517

[2] http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=16914 … more

Catholic schools and the common good

Is the NEA Really a NUT?

Money for Nothin’?

The Parent Trap

The Class is Always Keener on Our Own Side of the Street (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

Asian students consistently outperformed those in the United States, while their parents downplayed their accomplishments. American parents, unaware of their children’s poor showings, tended to think their children were doing very well. … more

Catholic Schools and the Common Good

Given Catholic schools’ superior social and academic effects, it would seem sensible to structure education policy so as to make Catholic schooling more readily available, especially to low-income and minority families. We have done the opposite. … more

A Looming Charter School Re-Union?

Catholic Schools and the Common Good

A fair comparison: U.S. students lag in math and science

No Cop-Out Left Behind

A Fair Comparison: U.S. Students Lag in Math and Science

The notion that America’s public school problems are confined to inner cities, and that our wealthy suburbs produce world-beating high school graduates, is a myth. … more

The Great Emigration

If people are the lifeblood of a city, then Detroit is bleeding to death. Staunching the flow will require a dramatic improvement in the city’s schools. … more

By the Time I Got Back From Phoenix...

Dare We Compare?

Ending the Evolutionary War

Asian Food for Thought

Undereducated Today, Outsourced Tomorrow?

Should You Fear School Choice?

For the past 87 years, the Netherlands has enjoyed a universal, nationwide school-voucher program. Dutch high school seniors and recent graduates score first in the world in mathematics, second in science and fourth in literacy. … more

Striking Out

Freeing to Choose

Should You Fear School Choice?

"60 Minutes" in September

Does Teacher Certification Matter?

The Real Lessons of Walter French Academy

Playing Monopoly With Detroit’s Kids

Is Affirmative Action the Right Fight?

Strange Lessons in School Discipline

What Can't Brown Do for You?

Reinventing Education in Pennsylvania

Why Tax Credits Are Better than Vouchers

Senior Fellow Andrew Coulson writes for The Independent Review, defending tax credits as the best vehicle for choice in education. … more

With Clear Eyes, Sincere Hearts and Open Minds

Mr. Andrew J. Coulson writes this introspective piece embodying the exact characteristics described in its title: clear eyes, sincere hearts, open minds. A non-political, logical, heart-felt, and very necessary in-depth look at America's system of schooling. … more

Can Market Incentives Improve Schools?