Freedom of Education
I know that education could be a lot better for less cost and I will explain how to get there, but many people just can’t get their head around such innovation, so let’s start with what everyone believes, and then look at some analysis that everyone can immediately recognize has a ring of truth, and then we’ll explore a solution that a majority will instantly recognize as superior to the status quo.
Everyone agrees that education could be a lot better for a little more cost, and everyone agrees that it could be at least somewhat better without increasing the cost; but somehow, education never gets better. Somehow, innovation has been suppressed.
The obvious reason for a lack of innovation in education is that parents and children have no meaningful choice, and the obvious reason that parents have no meaningful choice is because there is no meaningful competition in the education industry, and the reason there is no meaningful competition in the education industry is because the education industry is a monopoly.
The reason the education industry is a monopoly is because it has only one customer – government, and for education, government has only one customer – unions, and unions have only one customer – teachers.
Apparently, government and union leaders think that parents and children need to just shut up and sit down.
A friend of mine, let’s call him François, disagrees – vehemently. François knows that parents have lots of choice because he has studied the issue and talked with some teachers. François says that he understands education much better than me even though I have three children in school and he has no children at all (because he doesn’t want to increase his carbon footprint)!
I asked François to give me his best example of how he knows that we parents have so much control over our children’s education, and he explained that the parents on his street go to PTA meetings where they forced the government to raise their taxes and to hire more teachers! FORCED?! Higher taxes and more union members are exactly what politicians and union leaders want!
Smaller class size may sound like a good idea, but it is an idea that has been proven false. Smaller class size has minimal educational benefit. The only ones who benefit significantly from smaller class sizes are government and unions.
Those poor parents … they were so desperate to help their children … They probably thought it was their idea, but clearly it was the union’s idea. There was probably one guy who was thinking for himself a little bit and expressed doubt, and those poor desperate parents probably insinuated (in that passive-aggressive left coast way) that he might not be one of them, at which point, he would be terrified that some of them might be thinking he was a closet right-wing, teacher-hating lunatic who watches Glenn Beck. Then those poor desperate parents proceeded to jump through every hoop as the union played them like a piano.
Imagine if education were about the kids instead of political power.
Imagine if education were about the future instead of political power.
In the near future, I will explain a solution that I think the majority who care about the children will agree with.
I’ll have more to add to this article soon, but for the rest of it, I’m just going to throw out compelling information as I find it, and then I will develop solutions.
College cost inflation has increased much faster than general inflation.
It seems like College is becoming a scam. Surely the internet, video lecturers, recorded lectures, and other innovations could cut college costs by about 90%.
What about K – 12? Consider that Jimmy Carter and Congress created the Department of Education in 1977, and that inflation adjusted costs per student have doubled since then; whereas, results have gone down.
I agree that privatizing education in order to lead to competition would spur the discovery of the best practices, and I predict that the best practices would not be basically one education curriculum for everyone through high school, when there are hundreds of kinds of jobs that need different curriculums.
I think the best practices would take into consideration that adolescence creates a yearning for independence, for being able to support a family, that takes an emotional toll on you the longer it goes unfulfilled, especially if you’re not even confident that your education is preparing you for a future livelihood. I’d guess that in primitive societies, by age 13 people actually had all the skills needed to support a family, and even in modern society, many people end up in careers that a 13 year old could do. I think such people would be happier if they had started that job at 13, as they would have more quickly felt some independence.
Delaying that attainment of independence would only occur to the degree that one is capable of advanced jobs, which would require the education system to make some predictions of the potential of each student which I think it could do fairly well for 13 year olds, but to hedge its bets, it could provide a student long-term training for an advanced job simultaneously with short-term training in a less advanced job. It would also be helpful for elementary school to introduce students to the various jobs of the world by field trips to view a different job each week, so the students could have more informed preferences.