Out of Control Policy Blog

Marshall Fritz, R.I.P.

Marshall Fritz, the longtime libertarian leader who founded the Advocates for Self-Government and created the world-famous World's Smallest Political Quiz, died November 4th of pancreatic cancer at the age of 65. At reason online, I remember him as an eloquent champion who believed and practiced the notion that liberty starts at home.

I knew Marshall Fritz as the founder of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State. He wisely advised that "Sunday School, Monday School–Neither is the Business of Government." He wrote, "some people think that the American "public school system" is broken so they try to fix it. The truth is that public schooling is not broken. Rather, it is succeeding in its main objective–strengthening government by undermining parents..."

As education reform advocates argued about what counts as markets in education and what are legitimate forms of school choice–from vouchers to tax credits to charter schools–Marshall was never willing to settle for half-measures. As he advised in a 2005 reason piece, "Let a Thousand Choices Bloom," "Start with your own children. Remove them from school-by-government. You'll not be paying twice for education: You'll pay taxes for the state to harm other people's children, but you'll pay only once for education–your children's."

Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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