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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History and Statistics In Support of School Choice, March 7, 2001
This review is from: Market Education: The Unknown History (IDG's 3-D Visual) (Paperback)
Many people have proposals for what should be done about education today. Few have looked into history to see what has been successful in the past. This book does that. Few have hard data to back up their theories. This book does. It cites more than one thousand authentic historical and statistical sources. Half of these are original documents (or translations thereof).
The bibliography alone is worth the price of this book. I had been searching for statistics on literacy, and I found so much more here! This book is not only an excellent survey of educational methods throughout history, but also a comprehensive list of sources for future research.
The author is biased toward completely privatized education, and in this book he explains why. He starts where democracy started, in Ancient Greece. Most of us have heard of Athens and Sparta. We know Spartans were dedicated warriors. We know they had to come home from war "with their shield or on it." We know the city state of Sparta was everything, and each individual citizen was dispensable.
We know that Athens, not Sparta, became the capitol in Greece's Golden Age. What I did not know before reading about it in this book was that Athens had no official school system, no regulation of teachers, and no required curriculum. Athenian teachers simply charged parents directly for educating their children. Each teacher specialized in a subject, and the parents simply chose teachers with good reputations who taught the subjects they wanted their children to know. Competition for students kept prices down. Some excellent teachers were wealthy and did not charge, notably Plato and Aristotle. The result of this free market education method was a city that became its country's leader in art, philosophy, and science.
This is but the first exploration in this timely book that examines what has worked in education. My BellaOnline School Reform Forum will be full of references to this book. So far it is the only one of its kind!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 14, 2014 8:31:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2014 8:33:58 PM PST
Private education is not funded with tax money as is "choice" in USA today. Charters are run by companies- many for profit at the expense of taxpayers. Local schools boards have lost their say in representative government through this process. This is taxation without representation. We fought a war of independence over the same principle.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2014 8:16:33 AM PDT
Alas, the same is true of state-run public schooling, which has spurred social conflicts among Americans of different beliefs and preferences since its inception in the mid-1800s. Fortunately, there is a way to ensure universal access to a free educational marketplace without relying on this divisive compulsion of taxpayers. That solution is called education tax credits. These credits can cut the taxes on families who pay for their own children's education, and they also can cut taxes on individuals and businesses who donate money to pay for the tuition of low-income families. A dozen such programs already exist around the country, and they are growing. I write about them a little in "Market Education: The Unknown History."
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