Shorting Schools

Me: “How do you short the education bubble?”
Mark: “Attack their costs.”

This is a preliminary exploration of school costs. The following is written from the point of view of an educational consultant.

School Costs

  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Classrooms
  • Land
  • Textbooks

Eliminating Costs

Teachers and Administrators

  • Student-Run Schools. This is a radical, revolutionary suggestion, and I don’t have the means to design it well presently. Working examples exist, but are far and few between.

Textbooks

  • Open Source Textbooks. Provide ways for schools to develop and integrate open source materials, charge a fee, and move on.
  • Problem: Textbooks are currently profitable for schools to sell to students. How can you convince schools to pay money to eliminate a revenue source?

Classrooms

  • Classrooms are expensive, so get student out. Create work-for-credit programs, using internships, volunteer opportunities, and entrepreneurship as bases. Reward work, do not use “must have school approval” to limit how and where students work. Charge fee and move on.
  • Problem: Less class means fewer teachers. How do you convince teachers to risk or even give up their jobs?

Land

  • Owning land and building facilities cost fortunes, so don’t build them. Why not rent space as you need it? If students need housing, create relationships with nearby apartment complexes.
  • Problem: Schools already have land bought and paid for. We can only stop them from building more, at best.
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