Here is the first of what I think will be many in a collection of posts and articles about education. Education, because it deals with our children, grandchildren, and the future of our country, has been and will continue to be a hot button topic, and one we need to follow. – Mike L. March Madness! Everyone who enjoys basketball and its competitive nature understands that phrase. March is the month of the college basketball’s super bowl, the NCAA national championship. It is unfortunate that as a country we don’t have a similar passion for our K-12 educational system. In many states we have a grading system for our schools and school districts. This identifies the good from the not so good in public education. There really isn’t any competition within the system, just goals to be judged by. Would our schools be better if there were competition like a field of 64 defined down to #1, the CHAMPION? Our country is known to be highly competitive. Our problem is that the public school system is so big and far reaching what could possibly compete with it? What if there was a semi-private option that was affordable for less than childcare costs? A full day year round program that taught classical education. What if this classical education program was supported by business and philanthropy to help offset the costs to parents? What if this concept was turned into a simple franchise and grew like subway sandwich shops? Would parents take notice of a cut-rate option of a superior educational product? Could such an idea take hold and become a challenger to the undefeated public school system? Competition has always created better products for less cost and private industry has always out performed government at every level. The old commercial of “we don’t make the product, we make the product better” still applies to new and old industries. One exception to this is public K-12 education. With forty-five states adopting common core standards, all public schools (including charter schools) will be required to use the same federal approved curriculum and deliver education in a one size fits all manner. Where responsibility for the education of students has always been centered in the states, it is now being transferred to Washington. Common Core national standards and tests will now be required for states to receive federal funding such as race to the top, title I and potentially the ability to participate in the national school lunch program. It is now time for creative entrepreneurs and business people to take K-12 education and produce a program that is superior to the public choice that currently exists and provide it to the public at an affordable price. What would this model school program look like? Here are a few ideas to get started. Provide a classical education model that excludes progressive models that are corrupting our current system. Utilize a program that has a proven model of success and has been truly tested in the market. Create a semi-private school that would require a small tuition by parents with a corresponding contribution by business, foundation, and wealthy individuals. Keep it simple so the program can be quickly replicated through the franchise model. Let the market place of parents and students drive the need for this program in their local area. It is time for individuals and business to decide the future of our children and our children’s children. Can we unleash the creative juices and entrepreneurial spirits that have always made America exceptional or will we remain in the blob known as public education?