Rating Education Freedom

Published November 1, 2000

Jay P. Greene’s new report from the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research, The Education Freedom Index, develops a composite measure of education freedom for each state by combining the state’s ranking on each of the following education options:

  • availability of charter school options;
  • availability of government assisted private school options (e.g. vouchers);
  • ease of choosing to homeschool one’s child;
  • ease of choosing a different public school district by relocating; and
  • ease of sending a child to a different public school district without changing residence.

Those options vary enormously from state to state. For example, Washington state has no charter school law; Wyoming has had a weak charter school law since 1995 but has no charter schools; and Arizona has the nation’s strongest charter school law and has more charter schools than any other state.