Objectivist-Oriented School

Posted by Pecuniology 4 months ago to Education
61 comments | Share | Best of... | Flag

Who here is interested in following the establishment of an Objectivist-oriented school, primarily for pupils who age out of Montessori? The curriculum is inspired by Peikoff's Why Johnny Can't Think and Jamin Carson's PhD dissertation "A Philosophical Analysis of Objectivist Education."


Add Comment

FORMATTING HELP

All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 months ago
    When future Galts are ready to come to a university to complete their training, please direct them to me at Florida Tech. I will provide a combination of both the philosophy and the engineering for such students to be future Galts.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 months ago
      If the students are interested in pursuing technology degrees, sure.

      My first choice for undergraduate degrees is Charter Oak State College in Connecticut, which is part of the state university system in Connecticut and requires only two courses that are administered by the college: Orientation and Final Capstone. Everything else can be completed with AP, CLEP, and other standardized tests.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ jbrenner 4 months ago
        While that is an inexpensive approach for you as a customer, realize that a producer, I have rejected the state-subsidized college system. I know that Ayn Rand hated sacrifice, but I have indeed sacrificed certain things in my professorial career so that I would not compromise on bowing down to the State Science Institute. I was once a postdoc at a national lab … before I read Atlas Shrugged. I did not want to become Dr. Stadler.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 months ago
          Notwithstanding what I posted in my earlier response to your comment here, it would be very interesting to line up as many Objectivist PhD-holders as possible into some kind of confederation. Any three of us could form a dissertation committee and confer K-PhD degrees.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by $ jbrenner 3 months, 4 weeks ago
            The reason I advertise in the Gulch is to attract future Galts, D'Anconias, Danneskjolds, Reardens, Dagnys, etc. Welcome to the world of my "shrug job", and a pretty nice one it is.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 4 months ago
          We are still in the very early stages of this. My first priority is to line up Montessori schools to partner with for the grade 6-12 pupils, and only later to begin ramping up for the transition to undergraduate degrees as the first cohort finishes the minimum necessary for a high school diploma.

          Ideally, we would set up our own undergraduate college, but that is really tedious.

          I've taught at a bottom-feeder private university, a Catholic liberal arts university, and a regional state university. While I avoid doing business with government, I have no illusions about the nobility of the private sector.

          Likewise, I chafe at the idea of operating as a non-profit. In the early years of my career, I worked with several Washington DC-area 'free market' think tanks that lived off the largesse of the productive. It wasn't so much the 'irony' of working for free-market beggars as the hypocrisy that made me leave within a few years to join the ranks of the Dot.Com moneypunk movement in the late 1990s.

          If this thing is to fly, then it will have to be on its own merits.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ 25n56il4 4 months ago
    What was wrong with the classical educations we received before idiots started brainwashing our children? Think you can improve on what those of us over 80 received?
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 months ago
      A Classical education based on The Great Works is better than the mush that the kids are fed in public schools today. However, the justification for The Classics involves Appeals to Tradition, Authority, and Popular Sentiment: All the best minds since antiquity agree that The Classics have withstood the Test of Time.

      While this is fine for a conservative, it is not for an objectivist. For an objectivist, the curriculum's foundation must be on a single, objective reality and everything that that implies, as Ayn Rand described in detail in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.

      Peikoff and Carson focus on core subjects: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, General Science, History, and Literature. To this, I am adding Mathematics & Logic and Business.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ exceller 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        I don't like Peikoff.

        Sure, he was groomed by AR but he is far from being the heir of her abilities.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          I'm not sure what I think about him either - but - it doesn't matter really. It matters what his ideas are and whether or not they are correct.

          There are a couple of points that we disagree on - and a couple I disagree on with Rand. Some that I don't like - but I don't have enough study yet to decide who is right.

          On thing that Peikoff said in Teaching Johnny to Think that I thought was pretty contradictory was when he said "Why would a genius write a book?" - meaning, in context, that he didn't think it was worth a genius's time to write one. Maybe he did not consider Rand to be a genius - but if he did - that was not a very well thought out comment. I think she was. I also think it is pretty insane. A genius is the perfect person to write a book - to pass along their understanding in mass and for longevity. Look at Rand's books. They are teaching beginners yet today - and will be for many years to come - hopefully decades and/or centuries. I would like to have seen his lectures in real time - but as I didn't - I can't. "He" did not write Teaching Johnny to Think (nor some of "his" other works) - but turned them over to editors to write the books for him based on his lectures without him even reading the finished products for accuracy. That to me is not genius - if you have great thoughts and don't pass them on - they are wasted. Passing them on in lecture will never reach the numbers it can reach in book form - if published in mass as Rand's were.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          The only thing of Peikoff's that I have read is Teaching Johnny to Think and "The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy" in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. That's not enough for me to express an informed opinion; however, it also was not enough to have me run out and buy anything else that he wrote.

          Then again, even Ayn Rand strayed outside her sandbox in some of her later applications of her earlier foundational work.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    @Pecuniology me and my wife are seriously beginning to look at the idea of starting our own school as well. I've done a brief review of the issues before - and like you said it is a tedious and difficult road to take on. We just finished Leonard Peikoff's Teaching Johnny to Think as well. My wife is a teacher. We have seen the inside of the current mess that is public education and it has made up cringe for years. We already thought much of what Peikoff brought up - but he added some epistemological considerations that were hadn't been aware of as well as a few other base level concepts. I have really gotten into Rand and Objectivism over the last few years. Rand put much better words, analysis, and concretes behind what I have thought almost my whole life - it's very refreshing. Anyway, I think Peikoff is correct that it has taken decades for the education systems to become so completely screwed up that it will take as long to fix it - but only by educating people properly and to truly think - and have them work their way back into the education of children and into politics to help that happen can this succeed in mass.

    I found an interesting document put together by the US Board of Ed giving a lot of details on all 50 states in terms of their rules, regs, requirements, etc... for private schools - and as you said FL seems very friendly to them. We moved from FL about 12 years ago to WV. WV is also pretty open to private schools.

    I do have one suggesting that you should consider. I don't know your finances - but starting a school of any significance is obviously very costly. Our initial thought is to seriously consider setting up as a non-profit. The idea really irks me too - but consider a few things: 1. You are not required to take anything from the state/fed. 2. You don't have to pay taxes to the state or fed :) . 3. You can still sell yourself on the merit of the school you setup and can then ask for donations from those with the funds that would be happy to support such an initiative. 4. Rand was not opposed to charity - it just had to be voluntary and worth it to the grantor of the charity. Would it not be worth is for those producers out there - the Reardens, the Dagny Taggarts, the d'Anconias, the Galts to help establish a proper school system to try to combat this collectivist expansion? I think they would. It would be of great value to them. But they are busy - doing whatever they are doing - they do not want to setup the schools and spend their time running them. To people in that position - to help someone else that is willing to do that would be a fair trade - especially in the long run.

    Just my thought. We do not have the money do do anything of scale. We cannot even afford to leave our jobs. Just for us to get started would require enough initial funding to at least allow us to get the doors open and start transitioning into it full time.

    My background is in IT and running multiple small businesses over the years. Some of that being specialized in customer services for other businesses. I learned a lot from dealing with other businesses - in terms of the people, the work ethic - the disrespect given by their employees. I did conversions from paper based accounting systems to computer based. Setup the networks, built and sold the computers, setup their accounting system software, inventory management systems, point of sale software and equipment, general troubleshooting, servers, etc, etc. So I REALLY knew their businesses well.

    Long story short - I know the regulatory part of this could be a pain, I know how to deal look at the numbers - incomes, expenses, tax issues, etc...

    Many of the standards for private schools is very flexible - no teacher certifications required in many if not most cases - unless going after accreditation. Pros/cons there - not sure yet which way I lean on that - but probably not. Seems an open door to doing things their way - instead of the right way. But, it definitely means having to take the time to put together a large curriculum, having enough staff willing to follow the methods prescribed for teaching that curriculum, etc. It's scary to consider - but if successful would be so rewarding. And, even from a non-profit stand - you can still be paid well. Not to mention that there are ways that could be considered for breaking it up into multiple companies - profit and non-profit to take advantage of their respective traits to make good money on it if successful - yet allow for tax exempt donations as well.

    Glad you are working on this too. I think you are ahead of us though - and we are not sure if we want to do it. I'm late 40's and my wife is early 50's and this is a long term task - and a large one. So we're not 100% sure. Issues at my wife's teaching job makes us consider it more and more. Exactly what you said earlier - the schools are getting absolutely pathetic. Education and doing good by these kids is not the goal of too many involved.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      "I think Peikoff is correct that it has taken decades for the education systems to become so completely screwed up that it will take as long to fix it - but only by educating people properly and to truly think - and have them work their way back into the education of children and into politics to help that happen can this succeed in mass."

      And, great good luck with that!

      Education has been subverted through a self-conscious Long March through the Institutions that began more than a century ago. Those opposed to this kind of thing are much more likely to pursue careers in the trades, engineering, science, or business than bureaucratic careers, while radical activists are hopeless with their hands and with math, and they don't mind spending their days attending meetings and filling out TPS Reports with the new cover sheet.

      The only way to reform the system, without resorting to outright revolution—and those things are messy and loud, with unpredictable outcomes—would be to reverse the process and have radical activists pursue careers in the trades, engineering, science, or business, while those inclined to be productive are conscripted into the educational bureau-crazy. Such a plan would be absurd on its face.

      Consider, also, that the Colleges of Education are where both school teachers earn their teaching degrees and school and university administrators and educrats earn their PhDs in Education Administration. The lunatics have completed their takeover of the asylum. It would take more than a flame thrower and a fire hose to clean out that infestation.

      One alternative is to give up on trying to save the world and to focus on one's own children, maybe also the children of one's neighbors, and perhaps some few children from the surrounding community. If everyone did that, then there would be no need for a revolution. And, if hardly anyone does that, then that creates an opportunity for those of us who do.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        But I am looking at it from the angle we are now. Start private schools. Create thinkers. Some of those thinkers could do exactly that - go into education - at the college level. They could start impacting the new teachers, admins, politicians, etc...As they get worked into the public and private schools, and government - things could start to change. It would be a slow process - and really only able to succeed with private schools our their getting support from the producers to make a large enough impact.

        But I also get your point - I'm not hold my breath for that - but the more thinkers we can produce the better off we would be as the public schools have almost completely ceded that responsibility. You find pockets that are better than others and individual teachers that are better than others in terms of trying to create thinkers - but even those that do - don't really know how - because they were never taught.

        In the long run - the more Progressive government grows and the worst the educators are that are spit out of the college system - they will eventually ban/shutdown/regulate out of existence/etc private schools and home schools that are opposing them and getting in their way to keep control. Any left over will be forced to teach the way of the progressives.

        Probably in the end - we will be the Reardens and Dagnys - struggling up until the very end to just have it taken or destroyed. But our thinkers will be out there. And maybe they can start it over again when the looters and moochers finally collapse under their own weight.

        But it would be really awesome - if we could stop it before it gets there.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          Our curriculum closely, but not exactly, follows Peikoff's:

          Elementary

          Reading
          Writing
          Arithmetic
          General Science

          Secondary

          Literature
          History
          Mathematics/Logic
          Business

          That bottom item is our 'special sauce'. The goal is to have the graduates start and operate businesses. One business option that we want to be available to all is opening satellite campuses.

          Why reform the corrupt public school system, when you can start your own private school mafia?
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            I like it. That would be something pretty well in line with what I would be thinking. I am very pro - "more people being in business". Too many people today are separated from business ownership. A few generations ago - many more people had small business where the family was involved. That has mostly gone away to the big box stores, malls, etc and they just have no concept of what it is to run a business, to understand a business owners perspective, to understand even simple things like write-off's in relation to taxes. Or taxes in general. It makes it very easy for the progressives present businesses & business owners into 'evil businesses' / 'evil 1%ers'.

            The IT guy in me would definitely have computer programming woven it - definitely in the Secondary level - but probably all the way through. It is such a good method of getting logical problem solving skills into their thinking processes as well as to build real typing skills. I started programming and repairing computers when I was around 10 - so in 1981.

            I think that had a very strong impact on me very early on. I consider myself to be a pre-Objectivist Objectivist in that I felt like Rand and Objectivism just helped to more clearly define why I think the way I do. But it was, and is, something I did not have to convince myself of in any way.

            Anyway - your idea for getting your students to move forward with opening their own satellites sounds good and makes sense - they would already be trained in the teaching style. methods, and know business. If we do a school it would be similar - once we feel like the bugs are worked out - I'd like to do it as a franchise - where we have the ability to monitor and pop-up on them to make sure everything is being done to our guidelines. That's more where I was talking about separating the business. Would probably have a for profit for the curriculum and franchising side of the operation - and then have the school be non-profit. The profit side can issue franchises to the schools (including ours) - and to any others along with the curriculum, resources, materials, etc... and then the school would just be the non-profit and handle donations and the scholarship side of things.

            I like your last comment - it could be "The Objectivist Mafia Academy" :) - But, seriously, you are correct!

            Funny!
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by mccannon01 3 months, 3 weeks ago
              "...definitely have computer programming woven..." Yes, for sure. The basis is Mathematics/Logic, which is on the list. Here's my own experience as an example. I went to high school in the '60s and there wasn't much computer programming going on at that level at that time. However, I was very fortunate to have a 10th grade geometry teacher that taught the course as more of a logic course than a vanilla geometry course. The emphasis was on how to think (logically) rather than what to think. Later when I did become a programmer it was as natural as breathing. There was a humorous saying back in the '70s: "All code is FORTRAN, except maybe in another language.", and I'd whisper under my breath "And FORTRAN is simple geometry.".
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by mccannon01 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                OK, I have to write this reply to my own note to correct a misquote! I didn't think it was correct when I typed it in, but figured it was close enough. After typing I did some yard work and then had to jump in the shower before going out to dinner tonight (Note to Dino: Yup, the shower straightened it all out!!, LOL) and the real quote popped in my head. The wrong quote: "All code is FORTRAN, except maybe in another language.". The right quote from the '70s: "FORTRAN code can be written in any language."

                Sometimes getting old sucks. I hate it when that happens, LOL!
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
              In re, Teh 1%™: It all comes back to envy.

              Whether it is Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth "Warren" Mann (aka The Red Herring) carping about billionaires, the War on Christianity, Democratic National Socialism, Occupy, or pretty much any other popular radical obsession, it all comes back to activists' not wanting others' stuff, but instead wanting others not to have their stuff. They are obsessed with wealth destruction, rather than wealth creation. This is why they torch limousines and police cars, rather than steal them.

              Above all, my message to children is to be ashamed of feeling envy. (For the inner-city children: Get Rich or Die Tryin'.) If someone has a toy, and he did not take it away from you or anyone else, then go ahead and be jealous, in the sense of wanting to have that kind of toy and taking steps to get one, but do not stoop to the level of a dog watching another dog play with a chew toy. If we could convey only that one simple message, then the motivation to embrace socialism could evaporate.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
              " I am very pro - 'more people being in business'."

              My position is that the vast majority already are. Approximately 10% of the US working population is employed by government at some level, including bureaucrats, firemen, policemen, DMV ladies, etc. A small percentage serve in the military, and the vast majority of them are not career military. Ignoring a handful of other very small sectors, the vast majority are employed in business, both commercial and charitable.

              However, Business is not emphasized in the standard high school curriculum as much as Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, even though only the tiniest minority of adults are employed as laboratory scientists.

              We can teach quantitative methods, critical thinking, and logic through business disciplines like Accounting, Economics, and Finance, as easily as we can through laboratory sciences, and with much greater relevance to the pupils' lives as independent adults in the real world beyond their mothers' basements. Likewise, field experiments in Management and Marketing can be much more fun and useful that timing the descent of balls dropped from a table or mixing hydrochloric acid with sodium hydroxide to make salt water.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by mccannon01 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                "However, Business is not emphasized in the standard high school curriculum..." I wish it was. I was fortunate to have one of my HS math teachers cut aside a block of time to cover business and the financial markets. I don't think it was part of the regular curriculum, but he thought it was something we all should know. No textbook, as I recall, just his notes he passed out. Some of the things I learned in that snippet of time I came to appreciate much more later in life. A lot!
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                  Junior Achievement was fun, but we were completely unprepared for it by our high school classes. It would have been a lot more enjoyable and useful, if we had had some kind of introduction to Accounting, Budgeting, Financial Analysis, Marketing, and Management.

                  In my case, I enjoyed Chemistry and Physics, and I completed Calculus in the 10th grade. I would have enjoyed Statistics, if they had offered it.

                  Nonetheless, although I have used Calculus a few times in my academic work, I have had no need for Chemistry or Physics.
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                  • Posted by mccannon01 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                    I remember JA, but I worked after school and didn't have time. At the time I thought it was great making money, but the better choice would have been to do better in school. I had to do a lot of "catch up" in my 20s and 30s, but made out OK in the end.
                    Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                If I am misunderstanding you - please clarify - but I meant that more people should be involved in owning and running their own businesses. I know very few people in the community that own and run their own business. And even then, many times their kids are not involved. I think the number of people who owned their own businesses has declined over the last half dozen decades. As such - they only know of it from TV, media, or some corrupt "education" teaching them that businesses are corrupt and evil. They have no personal experience to draw from and fall for it.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                  Although the ideal would be for each of us to pursue entrepreneurial careers, the vast majority do not, but they do work for a business, charity, or other organization that must receive at least as much in revenues as it spends to cover costs, in order to survive.

                  In spite of this, Business is not emphasized in the standard K-12 curriculum, while laboratory sciences are.

                  This really grinds my gears, because if leftists believed 1/100th of what they said, then they would be promoting entrepreneurship and the Business disciplines among the poor, because Marx called on workers to seize the means of production. In the middle of the Industrial Revolution, that might have meant that they should expropriate their employers' factories, but today in an economy based on Information and Services, that means being the capital.
                  Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                  • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                    And, not that I'm arguing your point - I know most probably will not be entrepreneurs - but having them learn it in school - especially having them to run an "experimental" small businesses for the teaching experience - is much better than what is done currently. I like your plan - trying give them hands on as closely as possible is great as I don't think most people do get that by being employees of small businesses. Thus why I would also include a business component to a school when/if we set on up. To me it is very important to get them to understand that businesses are not their enemy - quite the opposite.
                    Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                      "[H]aving them learn it in school - especially having them to run an "experimental" small businesses for the teaching experience - is much better than what is done currently."

                      Even if that experimental business is selling Che Guevara and I'm With Her t-shirts. If people are dumb enough to buy swag like that, then you still have to cover your costs, maintain sufficient inventory to avoid having to turn customers away, manage vendors and employees, etc.
                      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                  • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                    Right - but my big issue with people working for small businesses is that they still don't see what it is to be the business owner. They know practically nothing of taxes, regulations, the responsibilities, the risks, etc. When I had my IT company in Tampa - I primarily did IT work for small businesses dealing with the owners, their accounting data, POS and inventory management systems, etc. I frequently spent a lot of time learning their businesses to understand their processes and how to best implement a system for them. As such I had to work with the employees top to bottom. The vast majority of them regularly making comments that told me they CLEARLY had no understanding of these kinds of details of the business or it's owners. It was the typical socialist/collectivist crap that they would spew.

                    Being the employee simply cannot translate to the experience of being the business owner. Their inexperience will never let them properly conceptualize it. This was one of the reasons why I decided to go in a different direction - I really got sick of dealing with the employees in many of these cases. Some of my best friends are previous clients that became millionaires - but while they were building up - and having to take second mortgages on their home to cover payroll - their employees were blasting them for being greedy, rich, fat-cats, that didn't care about them - while getting paid well for their job types with benefits, etc... and the business owners were even easy to get along with and personable. It really got under my skin.
                    Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
                    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                      We agree.

                      I taught Economics and Finance for fifteen years. I told my students to have side projects, no matter what their primary sources of income were. Even if it is a hobby that pays for itself—like trading comic books or finishing and reselling furniture bought at garage sales—it could become one's primary source of income between jobs, and it might even grow into one's career.

                      As I point out above, sell "Eat the Rich" t-shirts for all I care. Just do something productive, and above all do not be a burden on others.
                      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      General observation:

      Ray Kroc got involved with McDonald's at 52, and Mary Kay Ash started Mary Kay Cosmetics 45.

      If you're still mean enough to kick with both feet, when you fall flat on your back, then you're young enough to make a go of things.

      (I'm older than your wife.)

      The IT angle could make for an after-school program that could grow into a proper school. Give it some kind of snappy name like Startup Apprenticeship and pitch it to the local schools and churches. Maybe connect with a local Junior Achievement chapter. ...or something.

      Whatever you do, I strenuously recommend that you play up the Appalachia angle.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        I agree with your points.

        I can still kick with both feet - just getting a little harder :)

        We are very remote here. Our county only has 7000 population. 2 middle schools and one high school. The high school has - I think - under 400 kids. And the population here is mostly poor. Really no very feasible here - again - unless considering a boarding school in which the land prices here would make that route optimal.

        We really have a lot of potential options to consider. My wife actually currently works at a Juvenile detention center for the state teaching math and science. There is one private school in that system - and she probably has the connections to even consider that route - BUT - MOST of the kids are special ed on the lower end of the spectrum. Some not hard to work with - but others just nearly impossible. But even that is an option. We are thoroughly convinced that some of them have been taught into their classification and having the right education could bring them out of that label with time.

        There's even state based facilities for wards of the state - due to no family and not related to criminal activity. We just have to really get our heads around everything we need to put into this and decide if we're up for it. Home based projects have been an additional ware on us. I think I'm willing - but I'm not sure about my wife. We have had 12 years of a massive renovation/house rebuilding project that has us financially, physically, and mentally drained. And it is still not done. Maybe next year. Then refi and our financed open back up quite nicely. But - I don't know if when that monster finally gets off our back if my wife is going to be ready to jump into a new major project. If not - then I would need to decide if I want to do it by myself. It would be harder without her - she is the teacher with 30+ years of experience - and I'm just the IT guy - she's a better sell.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          If you have not read The Montessori Method, you might find it very helpful here. Maria Montessori developed her techniques while working with allegedly mentally handicapped orphans. Within a short time, her pupils were outperforming their peers in conventional schools.

          It is available at archive.org

          There is an excellent introduction to Montessori from the Objectivist perspective by Beatrice Hessen, "The Montessori Method." It is available online, but I cannot find anyplace to download it from other than Scribd.org.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            Thanks. No I haven't. We are aware of them - and maybe my wife has. We are a fan - in general - we looked at Montessori for our son early on - but couldn't afford it - but we liked the impression we got of it. I was reading a bit on the Vandamme Academy too. Definitely more research ahead of us if we proceed.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      "We do not have the money do do anything of scale. We cannot even afford to leave our jobs. Just for us to get started would require enough initial funding to at least allow us to get the doors open and start transitioning into it full time."

      One rule-of-thumb is to lay out your budget as honestly as you possibly can. Once you are satisfied with it, double your expected costs and halve your expected revenues. Once you can afford to operate at those levels, perhaps subsidizing the project in the early stages, then you should be good to go.

      People have started schools on shoestrings.

      However, nothing good happens fast. If any of this were easy, then we'd all be right by now.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      "Our initial thought is to seriously consider setting up as a non-profit. The idea really irks me too - but consider a few things: 1. You are not required to take anything from the state/fed. 2. You don't have to pay taxes to the state or fed :) . 3. You can still sell yourself on the merit of the school you setup and can then ask for donations from those with the funds that would be happy to support such an initiative. 4. Rand was not opposed to charity - it just had to be voluntary and worth it to the grantor of the charity."

      heh... When I wrote "irks" above, I did not mean refuse, as such. My wife and I started a non-profit organization several years ago to promote cryptocurrency under the umbrella of 'fair trade' with producers in the Developing World (which we prefer to think of at the Emerging Middle-Income Regions of the world, as we haven't seen actual famines there in decades, and they all have mobile phones with Internet access now).

      We've renamed it, and we plan to use it as the custodian of the scholarship fund. It might also be the operator of the school, as well.

      1) Depending on one's target market, one might pursue government grants, but one should be very careful to avoid having those become a large enough proportion of one's income to be devastating, if those sources dried up. For example, if one were focused on at-risk pupils, then one might approach law enforcement agencies, which often have grant money that needs to be distributed, with a promise to keep X young persons out of jail for Y years. I've heard that this is a much easier source of government funds than, say, grants for basic science, which are extremely competitive.

      While this is not my first choice, if Peter Theil or Charles Koch showed up on my doorstep with a donation check in hand, I probably would invite him in for coffee, and not exercise my Stand Your Ground rights.

      2) One must be very diligent about complying with the operating rules and filing requirements with a non-profit organization. Too many think themselves crafty and IRS inspectors stupid, and it gets them in to trouble. I've worked for large and small non-profit organizations, and it has made me very leery of trying to behave too cleverly.

      3) Agreed. (See my comment on Peter Thiel and Charles Koch above.)

      4) Ayn Rand on Charity vs Altruism: Yes. Even if I disagreed with her, as I do on a couple of her positions—smoking, self-defense, and intellectual property—I still might consider might accept donations for the same reason that I would bend over and pick up a $100 bill on a sidewalk: if the benefit exceeds the cost, then the action is profitable. However, one has to weigh the short run against the long run, as well. One of my greatest fears is what I taught my students to think of as The Wal-Mart Contract. You never want any single customer to represent more than 5-10% of your total business. (This also the danger of having a conventional job, versus running your own shop.) One large customer or employer can represent 100% of your revenue, while you represent 1/n of its vendors. In such a relationship, you have a lot more to lose from severing the relationship than your counterparty does.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      "WV is also pretty open to private schools."

      If you created an Objectivist beachhead in Appalachia, then that could get people's attention!

      As much as I prefer to avoid getting entangled with government, I wouldn't turn up my nose at a free building in a town suffering from braindrain.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        That's how I came across the US Dept of Ed document I found. We're not even sure if we would want to pursue it in WV. WV is great on property taxes compared to many states - but they make up for it in state income tax. If doing anything with the intention of making a large amount of money - this is not the place to be. BUT, if we went at this from the perspective of a non-profit, that would be a moot point. And, land, comparatively is cheap. Considering the income levels of people in the immediate vicinity (almost anywhere in the state) - people would not be able to afford tuition. This also comes back to the non-profit - if able to get enough - we could offer scholarships. The other option - would be a boarding school - where people would send their kids to live at our facility. More money upfront for buildings, staff, etc... So considering if it would be more practical to go back to FL or a similarly favorable state where more people could afford the tuition outright - thus limiting what we would need in donations as we could substantially scale down on needs for scholarships and less upfront costs on land, buildings, and staff.

        Free buildings here - not likely - cheap - maybe - but if so due to the need for expensive renovation. We have some of that in a small town near us. They would almost give it away - but being in a flood zone - would require complete retrofitting of electrical, plumbing, A/C, roof work, floor elevations, etc... I would assume similar in other areas. And again, if the areas are that run down - not likely locals could afford tuition.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          The Miami/Fort Lauderdale region is 2/3 Democrat. Granted, they are the kind of Democrats who have Concealed Carry Permits and buy one-way tickets out of town for the homeless, but they've banned plastic straws to stop sunspots or somesuch.

          Our target market is children who age out of Montessori and the children of the beleaguered conservatives, libertarians, and objectivists in the area.
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      "My wife is a teacher. We have seen the inside of the current mess that is public education and it has made up cringe for years."

      My eponymous BS is in Education. (My MA is in Economics, with specializations in Austrian School and Public Choice; my PhD is in Finance.)

      Back when I was finishing my undergraduate degree, the program already was too lefty for my tastes. It was basically a parade of platitudes, pandering, and stereotypes. Nonetheless, the emphasis back then was Internal Locus of Control and Critical Thinking. Internal Locus of Control is all about accepting personal responsibility for one's own fate. Born with a plastic spoon in your mouth? Play the cards that you've been dealt and walk it off. Critical Thinking was mostly lip-service to avoiding logical fallacies and contradictions. The emphasis was still more on Marxist/Pragmatist confusion than on the Postmodernist/Intersectionalist rot that dominates today. For example, I do not recall every having heard the term "social justice" during my program. That self-negating anti-concept did not come into common usage until much later.

      Today, Internal Locus of Control has been upended into Victimhood Culture, and Critical Thinking has been upended into cynical, anti-rational nihilism. Roll in No Child Left Behind/Every Student Succeeds Act, Common Core, and the whole "Math is racist" mindrot, and it is no wonder that teenage depression and suicide rates are exploding today.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Thank you for taking the time to post such a comprehensive reply!

      I'm going to break up my response into posts that address specific points above. Bear with me, as I probably will not do this all in one sitting.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        No problem - glad for the response! BTW - You probably already have it - but here's a link to the site where you can look at that document put together by the US Department of Ed.
        https://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/choic...
        The link for the doc is very near the top of the body of the page - then there is a link to a page with a map and you can click on the state of interest to get the data - it's a little quicker than jumping around in the nearly 350 page pdf.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
        • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
          Thank you for this link. While Florida is not the Libertarian Republic of Utopia, it's about as close as one might hope for, with regard to private schools and homeschooling.

          https://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/no...
          Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
          • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
            You're welome!

            I'm surprised they put this together and put it out there. And, honestly - I'm surprised at how many state seem favorable to private schools. One that did surprise me a bit was TX - they are a bit more tight on the private schools than WV, FL, & KY (the ones I read more carefully). I may look at Tennessee too - I believe if I am not mistaken that they also have no income tax - but would have to check whether or not that's true and if it applies to business and/or individuals.
            Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
            • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
              My mother moved to Eastern Tennessee from Central Florida. She is very happy there. Sales taxes are high, but there is no state personal income tax, and she can shop in North Carolina and Virginia. (There is also a tradition of haggling in some shops, such that the 'discount' offsets the sales tax.)

              There is a world-class heart center in Knoxville. Normally, one would have to be in New York City, Los Angeles, or South Florida to get equivalent care.

              Politically, the locals should be amenable to what your are up to, and the industrial employers attract skilled employees who earn incomes high enough to afford private school tuition.
              Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
              • Posted by $ AMeador1 3 months, 3 weeks ago
                Very good! I knew is was TN or KY - just couldn't get it to come to me when writing you. As they are no state income tax - I would assume they do well bringing in industry or any other kind of business doing well. Your mom was our "neighbor" - we moved from Tampa. Me and my wife met in Melbourne while attending FIT.
                Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 months ago
    Are you asking hypothetically or has such a school already been established?
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by 4 months ago
      I am working on establishing such a school.

      It is a lot more tedious than "Let's rent a barn and put on a school."

      I started by reading Leonard Peikoff's Why Johnny Can't Think and Jamin Carson's PhD dissertation, "A Philosophical Analysis of Objectivist Education." Then, I drafted an educational manifesto, which I now have split into two works: 1) the core manifesto that relates directly to the rationale underlying the curriculum, and 2) the more general philosophical material that I am reworking as a young person's guide to life.

      Once this is complete, sorting out the bureaucratic details takes precedent. Fortunately for me, I am in Florida, where the state Department of Education is friendly toward alternative education and homeschooling.

      After the budgets are complete, promotion and pupil recruitment will be the primary activity before opening the doors.

      I would be particularly delighted, if other 'stole' my idea and set up similar schools, so that we all could network and cooperate.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        I can't imagine how much work is involved. I had a bad experience with my kids in a school that had a philosophy. After that I sought a school with no philosophy. My thought was just "just teach them," and don't worry about philosophy. Now I would like a school with a reason-based philosophy, although I'd still be cautious of it turning into dogma. I would approach an Objectivist-oriented school with extreme skepticism since the ostensibly Rand-inspired ideas I encounter online are the opposite of what I took away from the books.

        I know putting together a business plan an executing it is incredibly hard. Even after you think everything through carefully, things take about three times the amount of work you think they will.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  

FORMATTING HELP

  • Comment hidden. Undo