After retiring from Congress, Ron Paul has been a busy man. Paul has just developed a new home school curriculum for grades K-12, and the curriculum is unsurprisingly focused on the defense of liberty.
Ron Paul has some interesting allies working with him to design the curriculum. The home schooling program is put together in conjunction with Tom Woods, the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, and a diehard Paul defender. The two emphasize the role of the free market and the West in returning the United States to a time where personal liberty was respected.
All of this begs the question of what kind of knowledge Woods and Paul find it crucial to impact to the leaders of tomorrow. The website for the program begins with "you and your children can get an education in liberty like no other," and it lives up to the claim, provided your definition of liberty aligns with Paul’s own. The Daily Caller reports that "Students also learn the basics of American history, the United States Constitution, and American geography. They get two courses on free market economics. They get two courses on government, including a how-to course on reclaiming America, one county at a time." For those business savvy young people eager to test out their free market values in the real world, there's also a course that helps you build your own small business.
And of course, Paul's educational curricula has already attracted controversy, making statements about the nature of the educational system through his unwillingness to make the program meet accreditation standards. Gary North, one of the primary designers of the curriculum, has defied state accreditation standards and, doing so, questioned the nature of state authority over education:
"I always ask the questions that accreditation-seeking parents rarely ask, let alone get answered:
1. Accredited by whom?
2. By whose authority?"
His contempt for state education standards is just one more way in which Paul and his cohort are trying to push the boundaries of home schooling and education more broadly away from regulation.
For better or worse, Paul isn’t the only one developing his own educational system: Newt Gingrich has put together his own curriculum, called "Newt University." One wonders with all the emphasis on education if conservative politicians will start to pay attention to the role that inequality and income plays a role in the distribution of educational opportunities. One even wonders if they will acknowledge the way state policies contribute to the exacerbation of said inequity. Either way, Paul and others whom follow in his footsteps will continue to design fascinating curricula, a revealing indication of the conservative mindset.