April 12, 2021
Author says such schools would thrive in US as well
Oakland, CAAlmost overnight a virus has brought into question Americas nearly 200-year-old government-run K-12 school-systemand prompted an urgent search for alternatives. But where should we turn to find them?
Enter James Tooleys Really Good Schools: Global Lessons for High-Caliber, Low-Cost Educationan exciting new book published today by the Independent Institute (Oakland, CA).
A distinguished scholar of education and the worlds foremost expert on private, low-cost innovative education, Tooley takes readers to some of the worlds most impoverished communities located in some of the worlds most dangerous placesincluding such war-torn countries as Sierra Leone, Liberia, and South Sudan. And there, in places where education experts fear to tread, Tooley finds thriving private schools that government, multinational NGOs, and even international charity officials deny exist.
Because the very existence of low-cost, high-quality private schools shatters the prevailing myth in the U.S., U.K., and western Europe that, absent government, affordable, high-quality schools for the poor could not exist.
But they do. And they are ubiquitous and in high demand. Founded by unheralded, local educational entrepreneurs, these schools are proving that self-organized education is not just possible but flourishingoften enrolling far more students than free government schools do at tiny prices within reach of even the most impoverished families.
In the course of his analysis Tooley asksand answersthe key questions: What proportion of poor children is served? (High.) How good are the private schools? (Excellent.) What are the business models for these schools? (Innovative.) And can they be replicated and improved? (Yes!)
The pandemic has taught parents in America and Europe that the education of their children without government meddling is indeed possibleand likely far better. And having experienced these first fruits of educational freedom, parents are increasingly open to ever greater educational entrepreneurship. Thankfully, parents, educators and policymakers now have Really Good Schools to show the way.
CREDENTIALS: Dr. James Tooley is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and Vice Chancellor (President) of the University of Buckingham in England, where he also serves as Professor of Educational Entrepreneurship and Policy. He is the also author of the award-winning book, The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey into How the Worlds Poorest Are Educating Themselves building on his ground-breaking research on private education for the poor in India, China and Africa.
To interview Dr. Tooley, please contact Robert Ade, [email protected], 510-635-3690.