Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How to Save a Dying City in Four Steps... Or Maybe Five

Something like this scenario is going to happen over the next three or four decades. The voters will fight it initially. So will the municipal unions. But the Great Default is coming. The welfare checks for the elderly will stop coming from Washington. These families will sell their homes to younger families to get money. They will move in with children. This is how families have dealt with old age from the beginning. We live in anomalous times. Voters will decide that it is time to cut local property taxes.
We know what the future of education is: video-based online education. The Khan Academy is proof. So is the Ron Paul Curriculum.
Public schools will eventually be forced by finances to adopt online, video-based education. Some states have begun the transition. For a list of online distance learning programs, state by state, click here. The stigma of distance learning is over.
Instead of vouchers, districts will offer a cheap Chromebook for each child and free high speed Internet hookups to inner city families that cannot afford this. The cost per home school student will drop to maybe $500 a year. This will replace today's $12,400 per student -- higher in large cities.
In 20 years, millions of middle class families will educate their children at home online. It will be a mark of social failure to have your children in the public schools -- anyway, non-charter schools.
Voters will still want free babysitting at taxpayers' expense. There will still be charter schools. Charter schools will use YouTube videos in classes with student-teacher ratios of 40 or 50 to one, above grade three. Students will sit in carrels. They will wear headphones. Discipline problems will be dealt with by expulsion. "Educate your child at home. Discipline him." The public schools will finally start providing safe environments. Headphones will reduce discipline problems to a minimum. A high student-teacher ratio will cut expenses.
The teachers above the 5th grade will be coaches. The voters want free sports. Give the coaches something useful to do: keep order.
Then 80% of all school administrators will be fired. Who will need them?
There will be middle-class flight out of the schools in any district that refuses to adopt YouTube-based education in the classrooms. The voters will then be ready to shrink the school budgets.
Surplus public school campuses can be sold to private schools that use YouTube-based education.
Then what of the teachers' unions? Gone with the wind.