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Ten benefits of
School Liberation

Marshall Fritz and Cathy Duffy

March 2002

As Americans reduce government involvement in education, we can expect these changes:

  1. Parents will be reinforced. Parents will send their children to schools where they are supported by teachers, not undermined. Parents will have a variety to choose from just as they have variety in restaurants, magazines, and churches. From Baptist to Buddhist, from Catholic to Calvinist, from Montessori to Muslim, from Progressive to Classical, from Child-centered to Direct Instruction, from Phonics to Whole Language, from sports to arts, and more, parents will choose schools where teachers support their values.

  2. Children will be safer. Independent schools don't tolerate violence because parents can easily move their children. Schools that are unsafe will either end the danger or go out of business.

  3. The poor will have access to better education. Americans donate over $175 billion per year to charities. To make sure that all 15 million low- and moderate-income children have access to better schools than today, private scholarships need to expand to $20-25 billion per year. This is prudently predictable, given the $300 billion tax cut resulting from School Liberation. Also, schooling will cost less. See below.

  4. Individualization. No longer will a child have to "adapt to the herd" in learning style. Schools and teachers can specialize to meet learning preferences -- a hands-on school for action-based learners, a literature-based unit study school for voracious readers, and schools that embed learning in music for auditory learners.

  5. Schools will be smaller. As we recover from the gigantism of government, schools will become scaled to fit children, not bureaucracies. Elementary schools will often be 100-200 children, not the 500-2000 we see today. Within the first year of School Liberation, the number of schools in the U.S. will likely increase from today's 110,000 to 500,000 or more.

  6. Teachers will be happier. Teachers will be able to do what attracted them to teaching -- concentrate on children, not bureaucratic rules. Principals and teachers who share worldview and education philosophy will start their own schools, sometimes renting space in former government school buildings. Like physicians and other professionals, they'll hire assistants and business managers, not superintendents. Parents will be the customers, not politicians: No more whims from the latest "Education Governor."

  7. Less time. In the past, eighth-grade graduates mastered subject material beyond that covered by most of today's high schools. Removing government involvement means that schools will be free to use time more efficiently. Students can learn more in fewer hours and fewer years.

  8. Good schooling will be much less expensive. Most government schools cost $4,000-$10,000/pupil/year. Freedom to innovate and compete will reduce costs by half. Better use of technology may reduce costs another 10 to 20 percent. Further, by blending campus-, cooperative-, home-, and self-schooling, education in urban centers -- much better than today's government schools -- will be available as low as $1,500-$2,000 per year.

  9. Private credentialing and accreditation will help assure high quality. Private credentialing services will prevail like those for Montessori and Waldorf teachers today. Private school accreditation services, such as A.C.S.I and A.A.C.S., will expand to help assure parents that schools are meeting their stated objectives.

  10. The economy will benefit. Businesses will become more efficient when graduates are better educated. Students with specific career goals can match with like-minded businesses for apprenticeships and work-study programs.

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