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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The School Revolution - Book Review

"I have been working on a curriculum for high school student that is designed to help them understand the freedom philosophy, and will enable them to articulate it.  This involves the ability to read carefully, analyze arguments, write clearly, and defend their position verbally."

"What I doubted (about the Obama appeal in 2008) was the practicality of a philosophy of government that presented the state as an agency of healing."
 - - Ron Paul, pages 34 and 35 of The School Revolution

Ron Paul's The School Revolution, A New Answer for Our Broken Education System is a calm, methodical case for parents who want two things: freedom to oversee their children's education, and adherence to the freedom philosophy within that education.

Most people are confused about the libertarian philosophy.  It's very simple - the use of force is never justified, unless in self defense.  This includes education of children.  Parents should not be forced to send their children to schools with which they disagree.  Your local public school is staffed by people who were products of a system that says that government schools are the 'agency of healing' and the people in them are dispassionate unbiased quality educators.  Some of them are.  Most of them are not.

Dr. Paul spends little time ripping the current education system.  What he does spend a lot of time on is explaining, in clear terms, what his philosophy is, why he promotes homeschooling, and what the data shows with regard to student performance.  His program, at Ron Paul Curriculum, is strong on what used to be called 'classical education' (and it also used to be in the public school program).
  1. A curriculum must be integrated and coherent,
  2. There must be a common theme: the freedom philosophy.
  3. The best methodology is self instruction.
  4. Courses should reinforce each other.
  5. Students must learn to write and to speak in public.
A top flight education is not expensive.  School districts spend thousand of dollars per year per child.  The national average is somewhere around $10K a year per student.  The system is churning out barely literate students unable to communicate and helpless on many fronts.  The upper level classes in his program cost $250 for the year.  Not only that, Dr. Paul focuses on the idea that people should be first and foremost - free.  Then his program goes into a low cost (grades K - 5 are free) system of rigor that uses the internet and primary sources that are available on the web.  American History is taught by people like Tom Woods.  Literature and entrepreneurship are taught by people like Gary North.

The content rich program offered by Ron Paul is superior to what the public schools are offering today.  It is offering it for much less.  I think he is one of the early adopters of what will be the next wave of education.  The internet has destroyed the Establishment Media.  Public School is next.  The gatekeepers of Public Education are still standing at the gates, but people are slipping under the wall faster and faster.  Ron Paul's book gives them the roadmap.

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