Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Progress in education does not require a never-ending increase in funding for public schools.

My wife and I have home-schooled our daughters. I know that kids like learning, and away from classrooms can learn, and learn well. The future of education almost certainly involves a wide diversity of educational methods and systems that place children in environments where they learn best, not where it is merely convenient to spend tax funds in huge gulps.

In Washington State, government is adapting to such new options. This was noted in the papers, recently, when Tim Sutinen, a candidate for the state legislature under the “Lower Taxes” party label, praised the state’s virtual charter schools. All of his school-aged kids (he and his wife have ten, total) receive instruction at home. But their lessons and testing are conducted over the Internet, from teachers hundreds of miles away.

Had he lived south of the Columbia River, in Oregon, though, his children would not be so lucky.

There, the teachers’ union has made opposition to virtual charter schools its “top priority.” Olivia Wolcott of the Cascade Policy Institute correctly argues that were the union truly supportive of “the best interests of Oregon children, it would support the virtual charter schools that have the ability to improve education through cost-saving innovation.”

But unions are in the business of raising pay for public school teachers. And that’s not the same thing as improving education.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. JedHozz says:

    Common Sense –

    My step-daughter has completed her junior & senior years of high school on her own, by mail. It isn’t cheap, but the cost is not ridiculous either. We found the materials through some church friends who home school, and are part of a large network of home schoolers in our area of Western Michigan.

    I used to think that the biggest problem with home schooling was the lack of outside interaction that the kidz would have, but thanks to this very large network, and a cooperative environment at our church, where the families all come together for classes and activities one day a week, that perception has taken a huge 180.

    I guess it’s only common sense that if you take on the responsibility of educating your children, then you also have to be pro-active in making sure they have extra-cirricular activities that include adequate opportunity to develop proper social skills.

    Thanks for your column and a chance to add my two cents.

  2. […] here:  Common Sense with Paul Jacob – Brought to You by Citizens in … By admin | category: charter internet | tags: 1970s-looked, entire, from-teachers, […]

  3. Mary E says:

    I had the opportunity to home school our youngest son. It was one of the best and hardest experiances of my life. Best because he excelled and loved it.
    He was proud of how much he learned in such a short time.(He went through 1 1/2 years of math in 6 months) We did great field trips with both family and friends.
    When he decided it was time to join the high school scene we let him go back to public ed. He is proud of the time he spent in home school. Hard, because it intailed lots of my time after I work correcting papers, doing lesson plans, giving assignments etc. It took lots of time and dedication on my part. I was lucky he was able to come with me to work and do school in the back room. We also had lots of great enrichment activities near my work as well. I have fond memories too.

  4. Don says:

    Nice read. Unions have outlived their usefulness in this country. They were originally created to protect employees from unfair labor practices and to ensure a fair wage. They have gone so far in the other direction that they are driving industry into the ground. Great blog you have here. The only problem I see is that “common sense” isn’t so common anymore.

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