The truth about State Schools

January 23rd, 2009


JAMES STANFIELD – ‘Towards the Total Privatisation of Education: Lessons from History and the Developing World’

Researcher at the University of Newcastle’s E. G. West Centre, James Stanfield will speak about the incredible findings of recent research into the role of private schools in the developing world. In the absence of universal state control of education, a vibrant marketplace of schools has arisen throughout much of the developed world, previously unknown to development theorists. Privately run and funded, their costs, syllabus and teaching methods are subject to market discipline and consumer sovereignty. Their scope is extraordinary: in Lagos State, Nigeria (one of the case studies), 75% of the school-age population attend privately run schools with no government funding whatsoever. Their average fees per term are $12.41, affordable even to those in desperate poverty, with private scholarships for orphans and the children of widows. Controlling for background variables, their results in maths are 14-19% better than government schools, and in English 22-29% better. Similar ‘underground’ school systems have been uncovered by in depth research by James Tooley, the Centre’s director, in the slums of East Delhi & Hyderabad, India; Ga District, Ghana; and Nairobi, Kenya. The history of education in Britain prior to the introduction of universal state schooling also supplies evidence that the voluntary and for-profit private sectors succeeded in educating the vast part of the populace, contrary to Dickensian fiction. Dr Stanfield argues that the benefits associated with markets, far from being shunned as an inequitable way to allocate education, are in fact the best mechanisms to ensure that the standard of education rises universally, instead of stagnating equally everywhere.

This really does look to be a fascinating talk, especially if you’re interested in education or development.We covered a lecture by James Stanfield at the Libertarian Alliance conference in October on our blog: see here.

Attendance is, as ever, free. Facebook event here.

As we already knew, the state is not efficient at providing education as a service, and the market does it better, cheaper, and gives parents real choice. The children that come out of an education system driven by the market are superior to those that the state produces, and everyone is…more happy.

Which brings us to Home Schooling.

Home Schooling shares all the characteristics of the above examples, only more so. It is even more efficient and successful, and furthermore, it greatly reinforces the family.

In the light of all this, why is it that HMG is so obsessed with shutting down Home Schooling? Surely they should learn from these examples and as a start and take a completely hands off approach to Home Schooling? Ill tell you why; because firstly, Home Schooling produces people who can think and secondly, it creates stronger families where HMG wants to destroy the family and to produce uneducated, illiterate, immoral subhumans who will service their police state without question, because they will not have the psychological or educational tools to question anything at all.

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