How to Start Your Own Private School—And Why You Need One, by Samuel L. Blumenfeld, New York; Arlington House, 1972, Pp. 378, $9.95.
If this country is ever to have a libertarian society, the ideas most of the people accept as true will have to be changed. And the place to begin this reeducation is in private, profit making schools. Blumenfeld's book explains how these schools can be established and run using free-market economic principles.
The author is a professional writer and like most people received his formal education in the tax supported public schools. Until a few years ago he believed the public schools were doing a good job of educating the children and young adults of this country.
Before starting this book, Mr. Blumenfeld spent a year and a half in the public schools of Boston as a substitute teacher. He did this to see how the public school systems operate from the inside.
In the first three chapters the author describes his experiences, "at times depressing, at times exhilarating," which convinced him that public education is, by its own nature, unable to provide a good education or promote the principles of a free society.
Blumenfeld traveled extensively throughout the South and visited many of the new private schools there and talked to the people who run them. Even though many of these schools were started to avoid the Supreme Court compulsory integration orders of 1964 and 1969 they quickly evolved into learning institutions of high quality. He also puts to rest the "segregation academy" image created by the establishment press.
While nearly all of these new schools permit only white children to be enrolled, the academic standards are uniformally higher than in the public schools.
Although Blumenfeld seems to have some racial biases and is a traditional conservative in his moral beliefs, he is a libertarian in the economic sphere. Several times he states just why the only rational means of providing high quality education for anyone willing to work for it is through the development of profit making private schools.
In the eleventh chapter, Blumenfeld tells of the first franchising company in private education, the Living and Learning Centres, Inc., of Waltham, Mass. This enterprise was started in March 1970 through the combined efforts of Grace L. Mitchell and George Naddaff. Ms. Mitchell operated her own school, the Green Acres Day School for thirty years. Mr. Naddaff is a franchise owner of 27 units. The company had 11 day-care centers operating by late 1971 and now offers shares of its stock to the public.
This book not only answers virtually every question a person could ask about private schools, it provides seven appendices containing the names and addresses of many different organizations which can help you start and operate a private school at a profit.
The title of this book isn't just a clever eye catcher, it means what it says. If a person seriously wants to establish a private school, this is the book to read.
Robert A. Robinson is a reporter with the LOS ANGELES HERALD-EXAMINER. He graduated from Los Angeles City College with the highest grade point average in the journalism department, and he is a founding member of Libertarian Alternative.