Re: Reforming Education

phil osborn (
Sat, 16 Oct 1999 21:21:08 PDT

>From: "Clint O'Dell" <>
>Subject: Re: Reforming Education
>Date: Sun, 10 Oct 1999 12:05:35 MDT
>I'm hearing a lot of "What if a parent can't afford to send their child to
>school?"s. In Colorado Springs, CO you can send your child to a private
>school for about $300 a month. Now, if every child went to private schools
>it would drive the price down. Each parent would probably pay only $100 a
>month per child. That's cheap! And while better schools cost more, a $100
>a month school will still be a great school do to competition.
I'm trying to recall the name of the guy who invented modern education in 17th Century London. He ran his schools at a 500 to 1 teacher/student ratio by having the older kids teach the younger ones two grades down. This both reenforced the learning for the older kids and taught them additional communications skills and moral concepts like responsibility, it also gave the younger kids a near one-to-one ratio from an instructor who intimately understood their state of mind. Ah! Lancaster. His schools supposedly educated about one half of the entire population of London, including the poorest of the poor, and he made money hand over fist. Unfortunately, Lancaster was himself addicted to wine, women, song, gambling, etc., for which no amount of money would suffice, so when he died he and his schools were bankrupt. Thus, the crown, which had strongly supported him, took over the schools, and, within a couple of decades, due to the resulting bureaucracy, they ended up pretty much at the point we are now, with one adult teacher trying to handle about 30 kids at an enormous expense and dubious results.

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