31 Mar Free Market Education?
Some form of free-market system in public schooling is the likeliest place to look for answers, a free market where family schools and small entrepreneurial schools and religious schools and crafts schools and farm schools exist in profusion to compete with government education. I’m trying to describe a free market in schooling exactly like the one the country had until the Civil War, one in which students volunteer for the kind of education that suits them, even if that means self-education; it didn’t hurt Benjamin Franklin that I can see….
Student guided education. It’s an interesting idea. I’ve long questioned the ability of traditional public schooling to meet the needs of all learners. If multiple intelligences do exist, and a predominate number of learners require a variety of presentations, are our average classrooms providing this?
Perhaps the idea of schools that specialize is not new (i.e. charter and magnet), but have these specialized schools ever been able to truly break free of the standards our government assigns? Sometimes parents are reluctant for their children to attend these schools because of the potential future implications. Will my child lag behind their peers if they re-enroll in public school? Will a university discount my child because of their alternative education? Charter and magnet schools still accept government funds and therefore will be subject to the regulations and mandates of that institution. The curriculum of these schools may vary from state and local guidelines, but rarely stray far. Are you really going to rock the boat of the one that pays your bills?
So how could this idea of free market schools truly be implemented, providing for all American children, yet maintain academic autonomy for these community schools. Financially is it even feasible? Speciality schools would require very different funding then our schools are currently receiving. Would the community rise to the occasion? Are there communities out there that operate on this philosophy?