Close the Schools in 5 years, Part VI –Corporate America Gets Involved In Homeschool America!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

We are discussing closing all private schools over a five year period, preceded by a one-year “grace period” which will be used to help set up the changeover from public to universal private schooling. The core goal of this changeover is to move children in public schools to a system that has proven itself far more efficient and effective, homeschooling. In the last article, I looked at how private schools could adapt to this new system and play a part. Now I’d like to discuss the private sector.

First, let’s agree that a successful national effort to educate the young is necessary. It is deeply necessary to industry and corporate America that education be conducted with great success in this country. No company, no matter how “profit oriented” and “high tech” is going to survive long without educated and capable employees to do everything needed to stay in business. Additionally, no corporation is an island. Every corporation deals with other businesses and with the public. The overall abilities and understandings of those people your corporation deals with each day will largely determine your success or failure. It’s the old “for want of a battle, the war was lost; for want of a horse, the battle was lost; for want of a horseshoe, the horse was lost; for want of a nail, the shoe was lost.” From small family-held companies to multi-nationals, business in America currently suffers from a plague of poorly educated young people who have entered the workforce without essential skills, and in many cases, even literacy to support their candidacy for employment. This trend dooms corporate America. We are already in decline when compared to other countries that are doing a better job both at education, and at supporting their businesses. I believe that these two efforts go hand in hand, and are synergistic.

Private sector – corporate and small-business America, this article is all about you. It may have been the quest of some misguided politicians and corporate leaders to ‘control” the population of America through a program of education intended to degrade and minimize the value of the individual. If you believed in such a cause, best reconsider. Today, you are dealing with the disastrous consequences of an educational system which, for decades, has done exactly as I just described. What is the cost to your business when it takes forever to train an employee to do even the simplest task? How about the hidden cost from a lack of initiative on the part of employees habitually ground down to obsequiousness by our educational system? Does a lack of ambition, or even of expressed, interesting ideas actually serve your company?

Come on, corporate leader. That bell of illiteracy, lack of initiative and inability tolls for you.

I don’t know if I truly believe that anyone would be so foolish as to intentionally support such a system. It would be the rare fool who degraded others to control and to profit in the short term, only to discover that a public and an employee base of uneducated and unemployable people are very, very bad for business! After all, a public that cannot create or produce also can’t make a living. Such people are not only unemployable, but they can’t pay their bills and they can’t buy products. Such a cycle would be remarkably destructive of business, as history demonstrates. We’re seeing its result today, and I don’t think most businesses are very happy about it.

Business booms in a nation that is educationally sound and progressive. If history teaches nothing else, it teaches us this fact. Nations boom and flourish when their people are educated, capable and creative. Nations that attempt to stop, slow or control education for ideological or other foolish reasons die. And education has always produced its best results when in the hands of concerned and involved individuals, not governments.

Businessman, pay heed! You want growing businesses that run smoothly and effectively? You want wondrous and irresistible new products to sell? You want an expanding customer base able to buy your goods? Then you are going to need to get into another business right away – the business of education. It is a business of modest short term costs, but long term gains, and I’m speaking strictly in a business context, not “ideologically”.

There are businesses, of course, which have their own ‘universities” to help train their employees in vocational realities. Apple has such an institution. So does McDonalds. Disney runs Cal Arts, an arts college in Los Angeles where they develop many of their future animators. These institutions serve a specific company or industry, and are valuable in a limited fashion. They are certainly of value to those individuals who wish to work for those companies. And the fact that such companies see the need for specialized education to service their corporate needs speaks sad volumes about the failure of education in America. It is as clear a signal of the failure of education here as the fact that colleges insist that a student’s first year be “basic education” – as if the student hadn’t just survived 12 years of such supposed training! Colleges don’t believe that their new students have received “basic education”.  Neither do smart businesses.

There are many very large corporations that could operate similar institutions, generated and run in-house. It is clear that the companies that do so find such an effort of great value, enough to justify the expense and work that goes into their development and maintenance. There can be little doubt that some other corporations could equally benefit by entering into this arena.

It is not necessary for every company to have its own in-house school. What IS necessary is that education improves and succeeds brilliantly in America. This will provide both the talent pool employers require, and the prosperous customer base businesses dream of. National and successful education (something we do not currently enjoy) is the surest road to corporate success.

How can corporations get involved? Let’s start with this; corporations, even multi-national corporations, are to some extent “local”. They have regional and corporate offices, and these have to be somewhere. There is scarcely a city of note that does not hold within its borders at least a few successful businesses. Large cities – the very places where public education is failing most grandly – usually contain dozens of successful businesses.

The business of business is, of course, profits. Businesses do not exist to “serve the public good”, as much as they might want the public and the government to think that they do. So let’s not get into any “pie in the sky”, here. To appeal to a business to involve itself in the public’s welfare, it must be demonstrated that their involvement will profit the business as well.

When I ask the private sector to take on education and support it, I am NOT asking them to throw good money after bad. Please DO NOT SUPPORT PUBLIC EDUCATION. Let’s get you and the public back those ba-zillions of dollars spent each year by the government on public education, a government obviously playing in an area in which they have demonstrated absolutely no aptitude or success. Closing the schools should be the very move toward greatly lowering personal and corporate taxes. It will also, per my plan, lead to improved results in education.

So first, I would ask corporate America to help generate a movement to close public schools which have almost unanimously proven to be a gruesome, losing investment. No business would be allowed to fail around 33%-55% of its customers (depending on which city’s statistics you read) and stay in business. The market place would see to it that such a business closed its doors. But that’s public education.

Hey, big business, let’s get rid of this titanic, destructive national cost that is bleeding us all dry and murdering our future. No, this isn’t a joke. The joke, public education, has been on us.

But as I pointed out, education must happen here, and at a far more successful level than it does today, if corporate America is to flourish today and into the future. As many employers have discovered, it’s good business to educate and to continue to educate their employees. It’s good business to have an educated public to promote cutting-edge products to.

Educating America is good business.

Ways corporate America can get involved? 1) Withdraw support from public schools and from politicians who support public schooling. 2) Form in-house schools for employees, and for their families. 3) Support homeschooling by creating very small grants or sponsorships. 4) Support top of the line private schools and create scholarships, but based entirely on measurable results.

The amount of money it takes each year to successfully homeschool a child is miniscule – generally under $1,000 annually as compared to $12,000-$27,000 annually per public school child! So a $3,000 sponsorship for a small homeschool group of 10 students would be seen as truly empowering, and would be put directly to use in ways easily monitored as there is no administrative red-tape or “superstructure” to homeschooling. Companies could start by offering such sponsorships to homeschool groups founded by their own employees, and from that base expand outward. Some companies might even help develop limited curricula that introduces children to the work the company does in a positive light, something their parents would love and which would help guarantee future good will.

Good will means profits, but I know you know that. I know that many corporations spend millions, and some spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising that flat out no longer works, in an effort to maintain a public profile and to develop good will. Supporting homeschool groups and targeted private school programs will cost a lot less, and do a lot more for corporations. Make a deal with homeschool groups that you support, that they place a placard you provide on their lawn or in their front window, “Our homeschool group is supported by xxxxx!” Enter your corporate name. Companies rarely have “fans”, especially among young people – but you will! Two or three such groups promoting like this in a community, and doubts as to whether or not your company cares will vanish.

In developing in-house school facilities like Apple and others have done, a corporation could provide not only on-going adult education, a must today if one is to have educated employees, but will also provide some relief to unemployment which will be created by the laying off of 20,000 schools worth of teachers each year over the next five years. (That’s my program. Read the last few articles.) In fact, corporations, having deeper pockets than private schools, will be able to truly have their pick of the crop of the best teachers looking for work. This would be of great benefit toward the rapid and successful development of in-house education, whether that educational program is targeted for employees or their families.

Then there’s the possibility of internships. Many companies currently offer limited internship opportunities. Internship, when provided to a young person of quality who is truly interested in your sort of business, may be the very best way to develop employees “from within”. It is a cost-effective system. Interns often work for very low wages, and are willing to do all sorts of “grunt work” just to be near their dream and to have the opportunity to learn and be seen by the right people. I believe that pretty much every business in America could benefit from creating an intern program. I also believe that such a universal movement would help guarantee the efficient continuation of businesses from generation to generation. A good intern program is a guarantee of a corporate future.

As always, any business must be concerned with both short and long term survival. Survival, by definition, means growth. “Downsizing”, contrary to the popular myth today, is not growth, financial or otherwise. It is very hard to re-grow a company, or to expand beyond earlier levels of relative success, once one has downsized. Offering fewer services, hiring fewer people, cannot be redefined as “growth”.

It is toward expansion that one finds both personal and corporate survival. I believe the idea that survival = expansion applies as well to a company’s involvement in the community. When a community is flourishing, its businesses do well. When a community is not doing well (take Detroit at this time as an example, where entire neighborhoods are abandoned), businesses and the entire local economy suffer or die. We are caught today in a whirlpool of ignorance. It’s made up of poor but expensive educational results which are pulling us all down the proverbial drain. It is good business – the best kind of business – to take some of what admittedly will be seen as limited corporate resources, and re-direct them toward a direct involvement in education in your community.

Spend less on advertising, it’s a lost cause. No one believes what the advertiser himself says about his product! Surely you know this? Use some of your advertising budget as I’ve described, and change the entire game at the core, and in your favor.
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As you probably know, I am an advocate for homeschooling. It’s my belief that homeschooling potentially provides a student with a vastly superior education than schooling in any form. This is backed up by a lot of numbers and research. I’ve taught for public and private schools, at the University level, as a private instructor in thousands of workshops, and as a homeschool dad running a homeschool group. Homeschooling by far works best for most students- and most families.

But I understand that many parents do not believe they can effectively homeschool. They’ve been told that they “don’t have degrees,” and that they “aren’t qualified.” This is all nonsense, of course. You’re legally not required to have any kind of a degree to homeschool your kids anywhere in the U.S. A lot of people who have degrees and who call themselves “professional teachers” are simply awful, and even destructive at what they do. A lot of parents…hundreds that I know of…have homeschooled their kids right into universities and careers.

In a serious effort to make homeschooling easier to do, and more commonly successful in terms of education received, I’ve authored my own curriculum. It took some 15,000 hours to write, over more than a decade of work, and is intended to replace the need for schooling a student from age 5-Adult Continuing Education. The curriculum is called Steps (or “CTT”). It has been used by over 20,000 students worldwide over the past 10 years. Hundreds of “success stories” attest to how well CTT works.

CTT courses are written in a way that gradually allows the student to take over his own education. Each course itself largely does the teaching, relieving mom and dad of that duty unless they wish to use our daily lesson plans in various subjects as springboards for family discussion and discovery – as many families do, every day. The parent has the job of making certain the student is working and has what they need to study. (And you’ll need to find a good math program for homeschooling as we don’t provide one. There are many.)

Below are links to our site discussing each level of curriculum, and every subject at that level that we offer. (You can start any level at any time. We don’t have “semesters” that start at a certain time, and each course stands alone well.) You’ll find free videos describing how every subject and each level works. You’ll discover free samples of every course we offer. Our site offers many other services and surprises, including numerous free courses you can download and try out.

Starter is for ages 5-6, and for preliterate students of any age. It focuses on starting to develop literacy skills, while teaching about various subjects. Starter includes full two-year programs in Reading, History, Science, Creative Writing, and Living Your Life, courses that develop life and study skills for the youngest students. Every lesson plan at the Starter level works to develop literacy.

Elementary is for ages 7-8, and for students who are developing literacy. It includes two-year programs in Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing (which also teaches the parts of language at this level), and Living Your Life courses which develop life and study skills in preparation for more advanced studies to come.

Lower School (ages 9-10) offers two-year programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, P.E. Electives, and in various arts such as Animation, Music Theory, and Acting. At this level, students must read fairly well, and studies are progressively turned over to the student.

Upper School (ages 11-High School, and Adult Continuing Education) provides programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, Current Events, Literature Guides, P.E. Electives, and in arts such as Animation, Acting, Music Theory, and Music History.

For parents who wish to teach at home, but are intimidated at the thought, and for parents who just wish to improve the homeschool experience, we offer a ten course homeschool program for homeschool teachers, as well as several books about education and homeschooling today.

We want you and your children to win with homeschooling!

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2 comments on “Close the Schools in 5 years, Part VI –Corporate America Gets Involved In Homeschool America!”

  1. Your proposal falls short on the math alone. For one thing, you’re forgetting about the lost wages of parents who are now staying home with their children. Let’s say I had children. I work from home, so I could probably feasibly educate them if I cut back to 20 hours a week.

    That’s a cost to my family of $45k+ a year. Now I’m not being taxed on that money anymore, which represents a tax loss of somewhere in the range of $10k/year. Hm, we’re back to it costs the *government* $10k for me to be home educating however many hypothetical children I have, plus, it costs *me* 45K. Obviously, it becomes cheaper per child if I have more, but past a certain point the amount of hours I’d be able to work falls to 0.

    Now, let’s look at the opposite end of the spectrum, someone making $8/hr, who is a single parent. Let’s leave aside the question of whether someone who can only get an $8/hr job has the skills to educate a child. She probably needs to work 60 hours a week to have a hope of feeding herself and her (let’s call it 2) children. Even with that, she’s making $640/week before taxes. She probably doesn’t work from home, so considering commuting, etc., if she is to educate her children, she has to cut back to, say, 15 hours per week (I don’t know where the children are for those 15 hours. Assume it’s feasible).

    Now she’s making $120/week. If your real goal isn’t to completely disenfranchise the poor, we have to now subsidize the lost $520/week to make it feasible for her to do this without starving herself and her children. Assume that she’d take off 2 weeks a year, so 520*50 = 26000, the cost of subsidizing this mom to stay home and educate her children (not counting any lost taxes involved in that amount). This amount is very much in line with the top cost you cite above for educating a child in the public schools. However, in the current political climate, you are *not* going to find the will to put that kind of money directly into the pockets of the poor.

    Speaking of disenfranchising the poor, your proposal above is exactly the recipe I’d choose if I wanted to do that–make it so the best schools available are only available to people whose parents already have great jobs.

    In short, I don’t think you’ve thought this idea all the way through–the holes I pointed out above are only a few of the ones I see in the plan.

  2. Wow, Amy, you certainly demonstrate some vile ideas. A person making $8 an hour isn’t qualified to teach their child? So stay at home moms, who make, let’s see now, NOTHING, aren’t qualified? Ridiculous. Obviously your barometer for ability is solely money. So Gandhi could not have taught a child? How about Van Gogh, was he a failure. Ridiculous.

    As to cutting down work hours at home, I was a single dad, worked AND homeschooled TEN CHILDREN, and made it all work. I formed a homeschool group to do it, Amy, so the responsibilities were shared between three SINGLE parents who all had low-paid jobs. We did it for years. My son graduated the first time he took the state tests, at age 16. Guess you’re wrong on all counts.

    As to schools – I want all PUBLIC schools closed. I don’t believe private schools generally do much better than public schools (there are exceptions), and they often share an agenda as well as methods and curriculum. But if someone really wants the school experience, it’s there to be had without public schools, and there are many ways to do it. I taught at private schools for 8 years to be able to afford to send my kids in exchange for their tuition.

    The “poor”, as you put it, can and do homeschool with great success, and as homeschoolers they will score HIGHER on all standardized tests on average. This is one route out of poverty, to college and beyond if that is the goal. And homeschooling can be done for a few hundred dollars a year. That’s it, Amy, that’s the cost, easily documented, I lived it. Go figure! I did it and I know. Why, even “the poor”, as you insist on calling them, can homeschool! And provide a future to their children? I don’t actually think that’s something you want, though.

    The saving to tax payers (your all-important “math”) that each homeschooler generates is between $12,500-$27,000 per student (Over 77 MILLION public school students) – the cost to the taxpayer for every child in public school annually. Public schools, per the Department of Ed., cost the tax payer $550 BILLION annually, Amy, to in part pay 3.2 MILLION teachers who give us back, as a group (and with exceptions as there are exceptional teachers) incredibly bad results for that monstrous investment. How’s the math there, Amy? Looks pretty grim to me from both a business and a national viewpoint, not to mention the result inflicted on our children. Hundreds of billions invested – terrible results – year after year after year? There’s a definition of insanity that could be applied to this kind of expenditure, this sort of “math” – “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a new and different result each time”. Good luck with your math on this one.

    But homeschoolers spend almost nothing – and provide a superior education on average when compared to public schooling! Why, Amy, it could be argued that rich parents NOT homeschooling are penalizing their children by sending them to, as you put it (and I’m trying not to laugh at you, but I am failing now), the “best schools”. Those children will not score as well, on average, as homeschooled children, and accordingly will be LESS likely to make it into a college. They’ll buy their way in, I suppose. I taught at U.S.C. for a year and, though this was long ago, I had little doubt that the students I taught bought their way in.

    Amy, I want ALL children to get a sublime education. I have seen beyond doubt homeschooling as the main road there. Private schooling can facilitate – but generally, it would have to move dramatically away from the current educational agenda and methodology. I want rich, poor, middle class, ALL KIDS TO GET A GREAT EDUCATION. That’s the only guarantee we have of a national future.

    You have a pretty nasty and critical view of what you consider the “poor”, with their, in your words “let’s call it two children”. Your argument is the same one made by people for whom money is the answer to all questions. And the “poor” – well, in your alleged mind, they are not bright or educated, since they are incapable of teaching their own children, and have apparently failed at life. I’m sure, by your very limited and perverted standards, they have done so.

    There are no “holes” in the plan, it’s been PROVEN to work Amy, experiential proof – I did everything I propose above and more, with great success and on an extremely limited income. The moms who ran the homeschool group with me made around the amount of money you propose above, and homeschooled for years! The only holes around here are the ones in your rather small, dysfunctional and hollow heart. In short, don’t write again, you are very not welcome here.

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