I'm not about to give you a political or religious rant. Instead, let me ask you a question: What brought you to my website?
If you are a parent or a student, it means that at some level you're concerned that school isn't providing everything you need. That's why you're looking for a tutor.
If you're a tutor yourself, then you've already entered the world of self-employment/entrepreneurship. You know the importance of marketing yourself.
If you're somehow involved in the field of science, especially where it intersects with the academic world, then surely you've felt the effects of budget cuts over the last few years.
In other words, we're all feeling the pain of a system in crisis: A faltering economy. An educational system that is becoming impotent and irrelevant. And the growing need, for many of us, to give up the hope of a secure position as we learn to fend for ourselves.
I recently began working for a conservative, largely Christian, home schooling website called the Ron Paul Curriculum (RPC). I'm writing a weekly article for their blog, producing more than 40 hours of video lessons from scratch, and designing 36 online quizzes to match.
Some of the views of key people in RPC are substantially different from my own. But they're the only group out there addressing the big problems of economy and education in a new way that I think could really work.
The students are trained in public speaking, marketing, and how to start a business. They take rigorous classes on economics that focus on real-world events. As far as academics, RPC students will be prepared and encouraged to take multiple Advanced Placement and CLEP exams for college credit. Not only are they expected to read and write, but they will all create their own blogs.
I think this is just what the world needs right now. If more of the U.S. population had been financially literate, people wouldn't have speculated with their homes or fallen for the sales pitches of greedy bankers. The economic crisis of 2008 might not have happened. If more young graduates had an entrepreneurial background, we would have energetic people creating businesses and opportunities, instead of competing for a dwindling number of jobs.
These critical skills are generally not taught in public schools. Teachers with the ability and the interest might be allowed to teach the important stuff in their spare time, but most teachers have precious little of that.
I admire the pragmatic, common-sense approach of the Ron Paul Curriculum. The Director of Curriculum looked at my YouTube Channel and exchanged several emails weeks before he ever asked about a resume. He put far more emphasis on what I can do than on any credential or piece of paper.
This was a breath of fresh air, after spending the past year leaping through hoops and chasing documents for the multiple offices of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Ron Paul Curriculum is not tied up by Byzantine rules and regulations, so they will be able to move and adapt much more quickly. One of my hopes is to learn from this experience and maybe start my own web-based school in a few years.
So this tree-hugging environmentalist is now working for an online school run by libertarians. A lot of people I admire and care about aren't going to like this. in fact, my only real concern is that I may lose some friends over this career move. If you're one of them, all I can do is ask you another question:
Are you happy with things the way they are now?