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Issue Position: Innovation & Choice in Education

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Cur­rent laws make real edu­ca­tional inno­va­tion ille­gal. How? First, they require that all stu­dents attend school. And then they define what a school has to do so nar­rowly that any mean­ing­ful inno­va­tion impossible.

For exam­ple, the school day is set at 170 days (even for pri­vate schools). That means that a school that man­ages to teach more effi­ciently, and teach the mate­r­ial in 160 days, or 150 days, is not rewarded. (That's one rea­son that most school cur­ric­ula are so full of unnec­es­sary filler.) That also means that schools can­not use vaca­tion time as an incen­tive. (E.g.: "As soon as you have mas­tered alge­bra, you can go on break…but not until then.").

As another exam­ple, all teach­ers need to be col­lege grad­u­ates. So if you want to hire Bill Gates or Mark Zucker­berg to teach math or com­puter sci­ence at your PRIVATE school, that would be ille­gal in Maryland.

The indi­vid­ual man­date in school­ing is the root cause of this prob­lem. If there were no require­ment, then par­ents could choose any edu­ca­tional ser­vice they want: learn­ing cen­ters, tutors, etc. (you know, the peo­ple whose job it is to cor­rect the mis­takes made in tra­di­tional schools).


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