Education Reform in the Private Sector
Faithful readers of this blog might be under the impression that St. Louis is always missing the boat on education reform. Beside the lack of private school choice, there’s the controversial state takeover, disputes between districts about student transfers, and the fact that St. Louis’ charter school system is still behind Kansas City’s. But in the private sector, St. Louis leads the way. This is from www.sciencedaily.com:
Dan Kimura, Ph.D., a senior professor of computer science and engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, opened St. Louis’ first Kumon center in 1984, in large part because of his disappointment in the math education that his sons were getting. Mathematics is a major foundation of computer science, and Kimura, whose specialty is software programming, took action.
The article describes Kumon’s growing popularity and reports that 180,000 students are now enrolled throughout the United States. Kumon Math has been here in St. Louis for over 20 years. However, private tutoring through Kumon costs more than many parents in the city can afford. It would be smart policy to involve Kumon and other private learning companies in school reform. We could have vouchers for after-school tutoring or maybe Kumon could start a charter school.