"What are they thinking?" we wonder. Presumably, this school board is not comprised of stupid, corrupt, or ill-intentioned people. But what could motivate this kind of policy change?
Of course, people have a right to be ignorant and to make bad decisions. Just as we can choose to damage our health by overeating, smoking cigarettes, and neglecting to take prescribed medications, we can also choose to remain uninformed on policy issues. Sometimes, it might even make sense to do so.
According to economists, "rational ignorance" comes into play when the "cost" (usually meaning the effort) of gaining enough understanding of an issue to be able to make an informed decision relating to it outweighs the benefit that one could reasonably expect from doing so. For example, many who are preoccupied with family, school, work, and mortgages may not consider it worthwhile to sift through a mass of arcane data to understand, say, the risks and benefits of nuclear power, plasticizers in children's toys, or genetically engineered crops.