There is no better news in this country than the fact that home schooling is increasing yearly, and that many parents “are fed up with the current system and are looking for alternatives.” An educational awakening is taking place, with more people realizing that the government-run (“public”) schools can’t be fixed, and that it is time to get kids out of the Lord of the Flies child warehouses.
Two recent articles from the Foundation for Economic Education touch on the topic, and I’ve linked them below. On the second article, instead of linking to FEE.org, I link to the source of the article they posted.
The Internet Is Maximizing Educational Choice
Everyone knows America’s public school system is a mess. The government has a monopoly on education created by compulsory attendance laws and confiscatory taxation. In other words, government has used coercion to establish a uniform system that suppresses competition. Such a monopoly of course breeds inefficiency and ineffectiveness. And that each state controls the training of its teachers and the content of the curriculum only further serves the problem.
School Choice Reforms
While much damage has already been done by the public school system since its inception in the mid-1800s, there is still hope for the future. Many Americans are fed up with the current system and are looking for alternatives. They realize the government system restricts freedom and impedes competition, and they are therefore seeking reforms that offer more “choice” in education. The most popular school choice reforms today are: (1) charter schools; (2) school vouchers; and (3) tax credits.
Can the state school monopoly be broken? Yes, but it will require that enough people actually leave the public schools to bring down the system. While the public schools are certainly doing things that contribute to a mass exodus, they still have much going for them. Public schools have the allegiance of many citizens stemming from tradition, they have political allies, and they have tax money. Overcoming these barriers will require an alternative educational option that is far superior to the public schools.
Read more: FEE.org
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Five Ways to Transcend the School Mindset
School-like instruction has been around less than a fraction of one percent of the time we humans have been on earth. Yet humanity has thrived. That’s because we’re all born to be free range learners. We are born motivated to explore, play, emulate role models, challenge ourselves, make mistakes and try again—continually gaining mastery. That’s how everyone learns to walk and talk. That’s how young people have become capable adults throughout history. And that’s how we have advanced the arts, sciences, and technology. In the long view, school is the experiment.
But it’s hard to see beyond the school mindset because most of us went to school in our formative years. So when we think of education, we tend to view school as the standard even if we simultaneously realize that many parts of that model (found also in daycare, preschool, kids’ clubs, and enrichment programs) aren’t necessarily beneficial. Narrowing the innate way we learn can interfere with the full development of our gifts.
Read more: AlternativesToSchool.com
Image credit: KaliAntye / Shutterstock.