Recently two schoolteachers were guest speakers at our weekly meeting of conservatives. They addressed “wokeness” in the California school system. One of the teachers was from a charter school and the other a public school and in both cases, I was appalled at what I was hearing. Their focus was on the damage of Common Core and today’s push on Critical Race Theory (CRT). Both teachers were forced to take special education classes on CRT, one at her own expense (but she challenged the administration and the district paid for it). This is California’s education system. It is obvious that we tax-payers are funding indoctrination and not education.
For this reason, many parents want to pull their children out of public schools, but the alternatives are limited. Home schooling is not reasonable for working parents. Private schooling is often too expensive. On-line schooling interferes with the social development of students. All these challenges can be overcome with the right approaches. One is coop education; working by extending school programs with existing private schools or in combining home schooling in team participation. There are many ways to solve the problems educating outside of public institutions. As we see from Oregon’s governor, reading, writing and arithmetic no longer must reach minimal standards. That means graduate students with no minimal standards but indoctrinate them on equal justice and white privilege.
Several decades ago, I helped the owner of three Montessori schools into quality, profitable, operations by changing the business model. It started by her asking me to visit her schools and see what some of the students were achieving. Her schools were running at a financial loss to the point she was going to have to shut down and possible declare bankruptcy, but she had hope things could be turned around.
During my school visit she had several eight-year-olds reading at college level and enjoying it. I was impressed to say the least. The same achievement was with math and history. All the students seemed well adjusted. Oh! The classes were filled with mixed races, India, Asian, Blacks, Hispanic and those Whites which made up 40% of the classes.
After my visit I decided to talk to some public-school teachers on the achievements of Montessori schools compared to public schools. I was surprised they were anti Montessori. They felt Montessori left much to be desired in childhood development. I was not an educator, so I only looked at the business aspects of turning around a losing operation that had positive results in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The teachers involved were all very dedicated to the kids. But there was no denying it; Montessori had solid results in basic education
In restructuring this Montessori operation, I had the organization split into two entities: one for profit and one as a non-profit. The “for profit” entity was the operational side of the business that included staffing and expenses supporting day-to-day operations. The non-profit entity included the physical assets of the operation like real estate, buildings, and holdings.
The “for profit” side provided each teacher with an 8% ownership under Subchapter “S” per school operation. This way, teachers could share in profits and write off any losses on their taxes.
To restructure operational finance, the non-profit provided equity backed guarantee for initial funding of the restructure based on its real estate equity. This bridge funding was paid back within six months and the profit operation was able to breakeven the first year. The second-year teachers were able to add $8,000 to their income from the 8% equity stake.
Now, hearing that the average adult in America is at an eighth-grade level and Oregon no longer require proficiencies in basic education, what is going to happen. How critical is CRT to education when student can’t read about it but are only told about it? Verbal indoctrination will result. How does “whiteness” fit in when minorities are given a pass on proficiencies let alone the dumbing-down of all students? We taxpayers never signed on for this type of education and fast pushback is needed.
These schools can be funded through new techniques using digital currency and blockchain technology (decentralized contracts). As shown by the pandemic, remote learning can be combined with in-classroom teaching. Teachers need to have an equity stake in the financial outcome as well as in student performance. This becomes an organizational structure and business model new to education but very powerful in school competition with state educators.
While this is one approach, options are available to customize the business model while outperforming public schools. There are additional elements to these options that can be detailed while finically rewarding private school teachers. Parents need to take back their education system.