3 votes

How to make a DRAMATIC improvement in education at ZERO cost

http://ian56.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/how-to-make-dramatic-imp...

Improving education is probably the most important thing a country can do to improve life for all.

A better educated populace is a competitive advantage.
Jobs migrate to where more productive employees are.
The economy would grow, people would earn relatively higher salaries, social costs would decrease, tax revenues would grow, leading to an ability to reduce future tax rates.
It is a VIRTUOUS circle.

The Voucher System

Currently the government pays x amount per pupil per year for state education.
This money goes into the bureaucratic system and a lot of it is wasted on bureaucracy.
There is no real competition between government run schools.

This system should be replaced with a voucher system, paid directly to parents.

Advantages

The parents would be free to choose where they wanted to spend THEIR money.
Some parents would decide to pay more than just the value of the voucher to send their children to a better school.
Parents would have an incentive to take an interest in their children's early education to get them into a better school. E.G. more bedtime stories, spending more time with them, inspiring kids to learn.

The schools would no longer be under government control (it is ALWAYS a bad thing for the government to be involved).
They could choose which pupils they wanted to accept.
They could choose how much they wanted to charge.
They could choose their curriculum.
They could choose which teachers they wanted to employ.
Bad teachers would no longer be employable in a market driven competitive environment.
Good teachers would be paid the market rate according to the value they actually brought to their employer.
Average teachers salaries would probably go UP.
Teachers are paid relatively little compared to their value in contributing to society and future wealth creation (good teachers).

Children would also have an incentive to learn (once they get to a certain age) if they do well and put effort in, they will be able to move to a better school.
Schools would encourage competition between children of similar abilities, which would improve their results (they would attract "better" pupils and/or be able to charge more).

Every child would improve, both the lower academic standards and the higher, it is now in the schools economic interest to do so.

There would be a dramatic reduction in drop out rates (lack of interest in going to school by children, truancy etc.
Parents would be free to choose "schools" that were not focussed on academia, if that was not the best avenue for their child.
Children could go to an "apprenticeship" school to learn a trade/skill if parents thought that was in their child's best interest.
There would be less youth crime and all sorts of reductions in social costs, e.g. drug use.

The teaching profession would attract higher calibre candidates.
Really good teachers would attract high salaries.

Schools would be free to choose which services they provided, whatever gave them an economic benefit in atracting higher charges, better teachers more able or diverse pupils.
E.G. After school clubs/activities.

Education standards would SOAR (over a period of a few years).

Disadvantages

The Teachers unions would go ballistic.
They currently protect bad teachers.
They have no real interest in improving education standards, only in protecting the interests of their most vocal members - which are often the bad teachers.
Bad teachers would go ballistic, they would no longer be employable as teachers.
Some might say that is an advantage.

Government education bureaucrats would go ballistic.
They would be made redundant.
The government would save money (the voucher value should be less than the current cost of education per pupil, most of the current bureaucratic cost would be deducted.)
Some might say that was an advantage.

Education would no longer be controlled by Government.
Some might say that is an advantage.

The system would be "unfair".
Although education standards for EVERYBODY would SOAR (except for a tiny minority - see next).
Academically "better" pupils would tend to migrate into better schools and less academically gifted pupils would tend to migrate into less good academic schools, or technical colleges.
Socialism/Liberalism tends towards the lowest common denominator, where it is "fairer" but EVERYBODY is worse off.
Some might say that competition is healthy and raises standards all round.
There is always some element of "unfairness" in competition - there are not 26 winners of the Superbowl.

Children whose parents did not take an interest in them would be worse off.
This needs more thought.
Various things are options.
You could try giving some extra money to this problem area in some way (part of the bureaucracy saving see above).
I do not know what would work best.
These children are a problem area as it stands, I don't know how much the above system would actually make things worse. It is probably very small.

There would be an adjustment in other economic factors.
E.G. housing costs would rise even more in the area around a good school.
Jobs would tend to migrate towards better schools, they could attract a higher calibre of employees and good schools would tend to migrate to where they were good jobs.

Immigration would go up.
Far more people would want to live in a country with an education system as outlined above.

More foreign pupils
There would be more pupils from foreign countries boarding at such schools. Parents who live in countries with an inferior education system would tend to choose to educate their children here.
This would help in a better understanding of different countries and cultures (of moderate people).
It would be an economic benefit - foreign pupils could be charged slightly more than domestic pupils which would be used to subsidize domestic education.
There would be a small economic advantage - such pupils would be a nett contributor to the economy - the parents and children do not just spend money on the school.
There would be additional tutoruing / music lessons / shop spending / hotels etc. by foreign nationals.

Further into the Future
Ideally tax rates should be reduced and the government did not steal the money for education in the first place.
The value of vouchers could be reduced over a period of time in line with a general reduction in taxes.

A better educated populace is a competitive advantage.
Jobs migrate to where more productive employees are.
The economy would grow, people would earn relatively higher salaries, social costs would decrease, tax revenues would grow leading to an ability to reduce tax rates.
It is a VIRTUOUS circle.

Accreditation
A joint collaboration between parent and pupil (with thanks to my daughter).

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I believe that if you

I believe that if you normalize the test scores by throwing out scores below 20%, the US does much better. If you take out non-English-speakers, we do very, very well.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Before one talks about

Before one talks about 'fixing' the education system, first one has to learn where the American Education System came from.

The Prussian education system was a system of mandatory education dating to the early 19th century. Parts of the Prussian education system have served as models for the education systems in a number of other countries, including Japan and the United States.

The political motivations of the King of Prussia

Seeking to replace the controlling functions of the local aristocracy, the Prussian court attempted to instill social obedience in the citizens through indoctrination. Every individual had to become convinced, in the core of his being, that the King was just, his decisions always right, and the need for obedience paramount.

The schools imposed an official language, to the prejudice of ethnic groups living in Prussia. The purpose of the system was to instill loyalty to the Crown and to train young men for the military and the bureaucracy. As the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a key influence on the system, said, "If you want to influence [the student] at all, you must do more than merely talk to him; you must fashion him, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will."

The American Education System, is nothing more than a series of indoctrination stations, which only serve to strengthen the authority of government, and the obedience of the people to the government. Basically what one is taught in the education system, makes those whom were educated by it, to be dependent on a myriad of other systems; thereby making the people into slaves of different systems. Not many people today are capable of living an independent life; they are mostly, if not completely, dependent on something, or some system, just for their basic survival.

Abolish the education system; that will save plenty of money, and the people will be better off in the long run for it.

the biggest problem

would be that private schools would have to do things according to the government standards. Once all the private schools have lowered their standards a whole bunch, and start producing significant amount of students who can not read or right what will we do then? Furthermore it would not be long before the government forced everyone to take vouchers and everyone to be on their standards.

the best way to deal with the public education problem is to start phasing it out, start with ending the federal department of ed. Then start on the states, then leave everything up to the local government and the people respectfully.

The government would NOT be allowed to set standards

The PARENTS would set the standards and if the school did not meet the standard required, they would vote with their feet (or their children's feet).
A school that did not meet satisfactory standards, in the opinion of parents, would lose pupils and a school that excelled in the standards wanted by parents would gain pupils.

That is the WHOLE point.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Looks like this thread has become a vain attempt

to educate Libertarians about talking to ordinary voters.

Not about changing the education system for the better.

the Dems are much better at winning elections or persuading than Libertarians are.
MUCH better.
Think about that.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Molehill hunter on a mountainside.

Ian56, you clearly aren't seeing the bigger picture and underlying cause. Your solution is laughable simply because it doesn't even address the major problem we have with the education system, which is that it is not what we think it is at all.

Just watch this and you'll start to see the real problem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okPnDZ1Txlo

Then research John Taylor Gatto.

Now, if you can address the root problem of the state itself WANTING the EDU system to do the job it is doing, instead of just giving the state more power to do this evil crap, then I'm all ears.

HONEST RON 2012!
LEGALIZE LIBERTY!

I am very aware that the government education system

is designed to keep the elites as elites and the rest to not become competition.

The current education system trains drones to obey, not people to think.

But if you said that to an ordinary voter - they would not believe you.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Well,

Then they need to do some research, we do not need to pander to people who DO NOT UNDERSTAND, we need to educate!

No bending of principles will take place, people need to understand that Government involvement in the market is nearly always a net negative, and the free sector can do a better Job in all aspects.

The public education system is increadibly inefficient

The average is $10,000 per student per year, some over $16,000 per year! With that kind of cash you could lease topnotch accommodations, hire first class teachers, pay the best benefits, hell, even lease each student his own car to drive! The voucher system makes sense, if you can defeat the NEA and their pet politicians.

It is a refreshing change to see someone sensible reply to this

thread.
Someone who could talk to an ordinary voter, in terms they would understand.
Someone who could persuade.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Education today is akin to a prison system....

If you don't want part of this scam, disengage from it.

Take them out of those prison laced public schools and teach them elsewhere. The faster more of you do this, the less prisons they can build and the more free all of you become.

I have read the comments on here

Some people seem to want to go from a TERRIBLE system to a PERFECT system with no intervening steps.
Which is impractical, with the current very small current public support.

I agree that prevention of a corporate takeover of the education system, replacing the government mandate is required.

In the current environment, elections can be bought and determined by misinformation.
Elections of school boards are potentially no different.

The key is better public awareness.
But people are more interested in researching a potential school for their children's education, than they are in researching a political party or candidate (most people).
They are also more questioning about the information put out about particular schools (or a company that runs a few schools) - again most people.

Individuals or small communities would have better opportunities to take over an existing school (or start a new one) and run it how they want.
There are few advantages from economies of scale in education (multiple schools).
The quality and personal touch from a small community run school would probably outweigh any advantages from economy of scale for education.
(That is not true for an awful lot of services or businesses.)

I am open to ideas about how best to prevent the corporate takeover of education by large corporations.

I don't think the ideas put forward so far are the best ones and better ideas can be found.

I do think the voucher system is a practical suggestion to take a big step in the right direction.
It introduces competition and the free market, where now there is effectively none.

I didn't say it was a complete solution.

At the least it gets people questioning the current system and what PRACTICAL alternatives might be more effective (the vast majority of people think government run education is poor).

Where is the large scale movement and public support to get the government out of education?
There isn't one.
So let's start one.
Again written in terms most people will understand.
Not some high minded Libertarian ideals.
The voucher system may not be the best idea, I am open to ideas if there are better ones, let's debate it and get the public interested in debating it.
You might get something approaching your ideal system after a while.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Home schooling is producing the Brightest and Best.Real life...

.

BAZZA MAC

fireant's picture

Sorry, the Voucher System is fatally flawed...

It permits, or provides an avenue for more direct government involvement with private school systems. Let's not go there, and stay the course of first getting the feds out of education entirely.

Undo what Wilson did

reedr3v's picture

Right. If government controls vouchers,

they have an excuse to control WHAT schools are valid from their perspective, what curriculum is acceptable, etc. and we continue the dishonest history texts, distorted civics requirements, phony social studies/approved health classes, etc, etc.

It is quite simple.

Eliminate mandatory attendance laws, and eliminate all taxes that fund government schools; sell off the school buildings to the highest bidder thus sending the education business back into the free market where it belongs. Eliminate the Department of Education at the federal level and the various Departments of Education at the State level.

Everything else is just tinkering with a failed, unworkable system of government run or controlled educational institutions.

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.

How do you propose to provide education for the poor?

Those who currently pay little in taxes.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Have you even HEARD of Ron Paul?

You know, the libertarian Voluntaryist, that guy who's picture is above on the banners??

He would be appalled at your solutions because they take power away from the free market and give it to the government.

Taking schools away from corporations is not the answer. The Answer is to take the remaining parts away from the government, so they can finally compete in the free market. (Because they CERTAINLY do not do that now.)

HONEST RON 2012!
LEGALIZE LIBERTY!

YOU are exactly like a GOP voter

blinkered and with tunnel vision.
And don't want to answer a straight reasonable question - just go on a nonsensical rant of no practical value whatsoever.

Typical GOP.
You didn't even read it properly.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Them there is Fightin' words!

A Typical GOP Voter Drools.

I am an Anarchist, sir.

Anarchists deeply yearn and fight their whole lives for Free Markets and the absolute Abolishment of all governments worldwide.

...Because the Government itself is the root problem. It must go.

Does that sound like a 'typical GOP Voter' answer? Not to vote? Not to give power to governments? To in fact abolish them?

HONEST RON 2012!
LEGALIZE LIBERTY!

You are thinking like a GOP

You are not putting your ideas forward in a way that would persuade ordinary voters to agree with you.

Ordinary voters are certainly not ready to abolish all governments worldwide.

You are thinking like a GOP exactly. They also want a similar thing, but by military invasion!

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

You're so far off that it is alarming you'd be on this site.

Luckily there are books on this subject though that you can read...

http://daviddfriedman.com/The_Machinery_of_Freedom_.pdf

HONEST RON 2012!
LEGALIZE LIBERTY!

I am on here to try and get Ron Paul nominated

not to try and live in some fantasy Libertarian / anarchist world that will NEVER happen.

Most people are selfish and look after what they perceive to be their own interests first.
Some people are worse (most who seek power).
The Founders understood human nature and sought to guard against human nature's bad side.

Most Libertarians on here do NOT understand human nature like the Founders did.
They do NOT understand ordinary people.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

I give up

Best of luck with Obama and his bullets.

I was a Ron Paul fan in late 2002.
Bye.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

They aren't getting an education now.

They're just getting education theater.

If you rephrase slightly i can agree with you

What benefit do poor people get from the current education system?
Not much at all - they get loads of inconsequential knowledge, some of it false, rammed down their throats with no benefit on their future life or earning potential and are taught to obey, not to think.
Lots drop out early as a result.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

They're not even getting inconsequential knowledge

My friend worked a poor school district and the kids were getting coached to cheat on their kindergarten standardized tests. They aren't allowed to drop out as they were in the 19th century and actually learn, they are forced into school until age 16 whether they want to be there or not.

I was in the "gifted" program and my teacher there dealt with special ed the rest of the day. She said the majority of the kids were not slow, but had mentally dropped out a long time ago. If you are more than two years behind, then you are special ed forever.

What obligation is it of mine or yours to pay for the things

other people want or need?

If I am a slave someone else owns me and takes the fruits of my labor. The opposite of slavery is freedom, and it follows that a free man owns himself and the fruits of his labors. Free men are also responsible for their own care and in a free society are required to not enslave other.

You can advocate freedom and at the same time advocate a system where one man is enslaved to provide education, or anything or any other product or service for someone else.

Today charity exist on a limited basis that helps educate the children of other people; this would expand if government were not continually impoverishing us with their taxes. Home education is an option for those capable of educating their own children, and who can't afford to pay someone else to educate them. And as in the past, a system of apprenticeship would likely spring up to teach children a way to make a living. Men are creative and likely would come up with all sorts of solutions other than government plunder and control.

We waste a huge amount of wealth as a society forcing all children into the government education model when many of them don't belong there. I point out that the level of literacy in Colonial times was higher than it is today.

It is both morally reprehensible to force people to educated other peoples children, and it is ineffective since many of the "graduates" would have been better served learning a trade in a free market apprentice system. We cheat even those who graduate at the top of their classes because we have in many cases short changed them in the hit and miss, ineffective current system.

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.

That will not cut much ice with most voters

We need a few more on here that can put themselves in the shoes of ordinary voters.
Sadly there are not enough of them here.

The post directly addressed the issue of not forcing children into the governments education model.
It offered CHOICE.

It seems that a lot of Libertarians are like a lot of GOP.
They can't think like anyone else.

I consider it an insult when I am called a Libertarian.
It has such negative connotations, like narrow crazy thinking.

I asked a straight question.
If you remove all government funding from education how do you educate the poor that could not afford it?
How would you sell that to ordinary voters?

I have some ideas how that might be achieved.
But you could not sell those ideas to ordinary people straight off.
They have to be led into it.

Blinkered and with tunnel vision.
GOP, Dems and Libertarians.
One and the same.
None of them can think like the others.

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

How is it that you think WE have a responsibility to educate the

poor or anyone else?

You seem to miss the point that in a free society WE are not responsible to educate anyone. That is their and their parents responsibility. If they need help, then the charity of friends an family, private scholarships, and alternatives like home schooling and apprenticeships where they work in return for training would come into play.

If you want to make good education available, then get rid of the bad government owned, government operated, tax funded system and let the free market work.

You just suggest government tinker with the system as it exist to keep taxpayers on the hook to give some people the benefit of the wealth other people produced. The current education system is based on a faulty premise, that premise being that education is a proper function of government.

It is probably true that selling freedom to ordinary voters would be a hard sell, because they generally focus on what they get from government, as measly as it is, and fight to keep the largess coming their way; they don't want freedom; they want benefits. This is the problem when people can vote themselves benefits at the expense of someone else, and to boot, they have been severely indoctrinated into collectivist thinking by the education system. This is not going to be solved at the voting booths. When in history has freedom not come out of the collapse of some form of a system of slavery?

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.