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Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Beginning of The End?

There was an event today that is worth notice.  The Ron Paul Curriculum came out this morning.  It is a  K - 12 program that is geared for independent thinking young people.  The initial sales pitch is toward the homeschooling community, but it will eventually spread.  When parents see what the children following this program are getting for their money, they'll re-think their huge taxpayer expense for the local public school.  Here is the part that is the lynchpin: the primary school grades are FREE.  K - 5th grades are there for a cost of $0.00.

The business model is one that makes sense.  The product that they offer is of the kind of quality that the parents will follow a successful free model up to the fifth grade.  The RPC people are confident that the parents will be happy enough to the point that after that, the curriculum will cost about $500 - $650 per year.  The intellectual powerhouses running the show will provide the 'hook' and then parents will be glad to pay for high quality education.  In case you are thinking that $650 is too much for a year, the least expensive private school around here is $4000 per year.  In case you think that your local public school is 'free', it costs you, at minimum, $10,000 per year per pupil to support that system.

This could be the beginning of the end for compulsory tax payer funded public school.  What are you getting for your 10 grand?  If you're in a good neighborhood, you're getting great facilities, solid teachers, horrid textbooks, peer pressure and government indoctrination.  If you're in a bad area, take any two or more of the above traits and make them negative, and add fighting, drugs and fornication.  Is that a good return on investment?

The end might be here.  Once people see how wonderful, independent, thoughtful, free market education can work, they might realize that the whole paradigm can operate in the same way.  Education does not, and should not be expensive.  For millennia there was no forced schooling.  It is a recent development, and it was not started for altruistic motives.  People can learn in a myriad of ways, often moving faster when they are at their own pace, exploring things that are in their interest.  Being in various rooms, confined with students of like age, in 40 minute blocks simply cannot be a one size fits all approach.  I think this might cause a sea change...

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