Ron Paul's revolution is not yet complete. The two-time presidential candidate has launched a home schooling curriculum which promises to get your elementary school student up-to-speed on the hijacking of the Constitution in no time. Seriously. It promises that.
The curriculum was announced on Sunday in a post from Paul himself.
A common feature of authoritarian regimes is the criminalization of alternatives to government-controlled education. Dictators recognize the danger that free thought poses to their rule, and few things promote the thinking of “unapproved” thoughts like an education controlled by parents instead of the state. That is why the National Socialist (Nazi) government of Germany outlawed homeschooling in 1938.
Et cetera. The announcement didn't generate a ton of press coverage for some reason. Fox News offered a skeptical assessment, for example.
We are more excited, primarily because of the introductory video. It stars Gary North, research assistant to then-Rep. Paul in 1976, and now Director of Curriculum Development for The Ron Paul Curriculum. Do not adjust your screen; it does indeed bear the aesthetic of a 1960s educational filmstrip, down to North himself. It is not clear whether or not this is meant to be ironic.
North outlines the four goals that he and Paul agreed upon for this curriculum. The following are direct quotes.
- It should teach the Biblical principle of self-government and personal responsibility, which is also the foundation of the free market economy.
- It should be based on a detailed study of the history of liberty as well as liberty's rivals, in Western civilization and the United States.
- It should provide a thorough understanding of Austrian school economics.
- It should be an academically rigorous curriculum that is tied to primary source documents — not textbooks. Textbooks are screened by committees. They dumb down the material.
If your child completes the entire curriculum — which runs from K through 12 — here is what he or she should be able to do, again quoting.
- Speak in public and speak confidently
- Write effectively
- Run a website
- Operate a YouTube channel
- Understand mathematics
- Understand basic science
- Start a home business
- Defend the free market system intellectually
- Understand the history of Western civilization
- Understand American history
- Understand the U.S. Constitution and how it has been hijacked
- Understand the interaction between literature and historical development
- Understand Christianity's influence in the West
- Understand Austrian-school economics
That's the order in which North presents the outcomes, but it's not clear whether or not it represents the order of importance. Regardless, your now-five-year-old should, by the year 2026, be able to operate a YouTube channel.
Let's get down to brass tacks. Echoing the business model of other addictive substances, the Ron Paul Curriculum provides grades K through 5 for free. After that, you have to pay — $250 a year. The curriculum tools are a combination of PDFs and YouTube videos, with prescribed periods for testing and writing assignments. Or, they will be. The site is a bit light on content right now.
The kindergarten course, for example, is slated for completion in September. Its author, Cheryl Page, hints that it "will show mothers the basics of teaching phonics. It will be video-based, with instructions for the mothers on how to teach every aspect of basic phonics to their child." Mother not included.
The rest of the free curricula — first through fifth grades — are incomplete, but North offers other outlets for home-schooling. "Why should I promote a rival product?" he asks. "Because this site is not complete."
North does provide a (for pay) course in high school preparation, including:
- STUDY TECHNIQUES. Lesson #3: Your Home Office
- STUDY TECHNIQUES. Lesson #4: Follow Instructions
- HOW TO WRITE. Lesson #11: The Book Review ("This is a crucial skill. Learn it early."
North's desired outcome is not that students get a high school degree. His vision is as follows:
If a student finishes high school at (say) 16 or 17, then it's time to find a mentor who will apprentice the high school graduate locally. The student gets a technical skill that has a market.
Meanwhile, the student takes CLEP and DSST exams to quiz out of college. By age 20, the student is a college graduate, which the student has paid for with wages from the apprenticeship job. He or she is ready for a career.
Apprenticeship, not college, is his aim. ("The trade unions resisted this. But they are dead now, outside of government jobs.")
Not that college would be an option for your YouTube-savvy progeny. The curriculum is not accredited. Why not? Because North doesn't believe that it should "crawl on our bellies to the state." He writes:
It is a sign of the almost overwhelming surrender of parents to the state that the parents, while saying they are fleeing from the state's schools, desperately want to use a curriculum that is accredited by the state. They are terrified of their own ability, meaning their inability, to teach their own children. They have no confidence in themselves. They do not have confidence that they can look at a curriculum, and then decide whether that curriculum is good or bad. The state has completely bamboozled them.
This follows a list of six invalid "assumptions" about accreditation. (North likes lists.)
The target date for the full curriculum is late 2015. Assuming that the kindergarten one goes up as scheduled, there's no reason to get started now. "Check back regularly to see if what you want is here," North offers. Because, hey, "the price is right."
It is not clear whether or not the curriculum will include a unit on the civil rights movement.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.