Mark's favorite line:
Here’s my proposal: Close all the public schools. Send the kids home. Fire the teachers. Sell the buildings. Raze the U.S. Department of Education, leaving not one brick standing upon another and plow the land where it stood with salt.
Incidentally, I'm fully in agreement, and think that this one action would improve educational quality in the country more than ANY other single thing you could do. But it wasn't my favorite line. Here's my favorite line:
Close them anyway. I’ve got 11,749 [ed: official $ cost per student] reasons. Or, given the Cato report [that schools lie about spending], call it 15,000 . Abandon the schools. Gather the kids together in groups of 15.4. Sit them down at your house, or the Moose Lodge, or the VFW Hall or—gasp—a church. Multiply 15.4 by $15,000. That’s $231,000. Subtract a few grand for snacks and cleaning your carpet. What remains is a pay and benefit package of a quarter of a million dollars. Average 2008 public school classroom teacher salary: $51,391. For a quarter of a million dollars you could hire Aristotle. The kids wouldn’t have band practice, but they’d have Aristotle. (Incidentally this worked for Philip of Macedon. His son did very well.)FWIW, I'm available as a substitute for Aristotle. Anyone who has a dozen kids and $15k/parent...gimme a call. As I say on my resume...you can't teach a pig to sing, but I can. I've taught seriously brain-damaged kids, and I've taught 4-sigma prodigies, adults, children, and the animals in between. Math, History, Programming, French, Latin, Economics...I'll argue curriculum later.
Or maybe this is the best line:
“But some of America’s disadvantaged persons may not have the cultural resources to utilize privatized educational disbursements. Some disadvantaged children may not receive any education at all.” Fifteen grand per kid buys a lot of culture. And the possibility that someone’s child may not receive any education is an improvement on a certainty that the child won’t.