Center for Educational Freedom

Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom (CEF) is grounded in the understanding that education works best for all people—from individual students to all of society—when it is rooted in the free decisions of those to be educated, and those who educate. In elementary and secondary education CEF scholars seek to shift policy to empower parents to choose the education they think is best for their unique children, and for educators to teach as they see fit. In higher education, they look to move to a system in which students—those who will reap the benefits of their education—pay with their own money, or funds voluntarily given to them by others. And in early-childhood education, they bring research to bear against ill-informed efforts to expand government intervention.

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Of Special Note

The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves

The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World's Poorest People Are Educating Themselves

In The Beautiful Tree, James Tooley braids together personal experience, community action, and family devotion, and takes readers to the very heart of education. Tooley journeys from Africa to China, sharing insights from children, parents, teachers, and entrepreneurs who taught him that the poor are not waiting for educational handouts. They are building their own schools and learning to save themselves

Higher Education

Is College Worth It?

Soaring tuition and student debt, the rise of high-tech alternatives, and a persistently sluggish economy have provoked a startling question: “Is college worth it?”

Public Schooling Battle Map

Public Schooling Battle Map

Americans are diverse – ethnically, religiously, philosophically – but all are forced to support public schools. The intention behind this is largely good: to unite people and minimize discord. However, as the examples contained in this map show, the effect is often very much the opposite. Rather than bringing diverse people together public schooling divides them, forcing them into conflict over whose values and histories will be taught, and whose basic rights will be upheld…or trampled.