Cookie-Cutter Education Doesn’t Work

Competitive, free market-based solutions improves performance

Libertarians believe that everything can be handled best by establishing free market solutions to issues where big government monopolies currently exist. When markets are free, forces like competition will actually ensure a higher level of quality at a cheaper price than a monopoly could/would provide, even given supply and demand forces. This view applies to all services and product sales. This is why I have been an advocate for the complete separation of education and state.

Given the results of nearly 40 years with a cabinet level Department of Education agency, it is fair to say that the Federal agency in DC is not helping children become better educated in small town USA. It is not helping children become better educated in big town USA either. In fact, it has established, almost flawlessly, that a one size fits all solution to education is an abject failure to the tax paying citizens of the United States, and our children.

Different administrations have trotted out initiatives such as “Outcome Based Education,” “No Child Left Behind,” and “Common Core.” What do all of these systems have in common? They have done nothing to help children prepare for their futures. Politicians have continued to point to poor performance as a justification for using a greater quantity of tax dollars for education, and the politicians making these statements will either ignore the fact that their policies have either done nothing positive for children’s education, or worse, it does not matter to them.

So what is the answer? If we are to put a free market solution in place, what would it look like?

We are living in an exciting time when it comes to learning! This information age, has enabled people to study and learn a variety of subjects more easily than ever before, and the best part? People are able to learn these subjects largely for free! There are many resources available for families who wish to home school their children, including networks to get together with other families who are inclined to home school.

These groups and networks are good for helping children become more socialized, it is also good for parents who want a break, and they can trade lesson days and the like. The best part of this is that it does not rely on tax dollars in order to help finance. This brings me to another point. Children do not all learn the same way, and this is part of the reason why “cookie cutter” education systems fail.

Privatized education solutions can help with this. For example, a charter school was created that had a focus, in addition to learning the primary subjects, on sustainable farming. Like that school, private schools with a focus on trades will enable children who, like me, learn by working with their hands to work toward their potential.

There is no need for a government bureaucracy to be in charge of children’s education; that is what parents are supposed to be doing! Instead, we can work toward a free market solution which will serve to help our children become competitive in tomorrow’s job market by giving them the tools they need to succeed. Finally, entering the world with marketable skills and a solid work ethic will enable our children to live where they WANT to live (not in our basement).

Steve Scheetz
is the former Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania and Treasurer of the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus. He believes in order to achieve anything, politically, there needs to be reliance upon people. Steve has been working to unify the various factions within the party while making various projects a reality, such as the “People Against the Initiation of Violence” uniting gay and Muslim activists in the wake of the Orlando shooting in June to speak out against xenophobia, homophobia, fear, hatred, and most especially, violence. In July, his group “Libertarians Spreading Libertarianism” worked on outreach at the RNC convention in Cleveland, OH, and the DNC convention in Philadelphia. Steve is already laying the ground work for a 2018 congressional run in District 8, Bucks and Montgomery County, PA.