Forces and Choices (Episode Three)

POSTED ON April 19, 2017

In episode three, Forces and Choices, Coulson examines the success of for-profit education traveling to private schools in Sweden, India, and London, where the resistance to education as a business has lessened.

In Sweden, where all private schools are fully tax supported and parents can choose between these “free” schools and the local public schools, Coulson pays a visit to two different private schools.  At the International English School, strict rules on student behavior are extolled and there is a high degree of student-teacher interaction.  At Kunskapsskolan he learns about the profit motive and the school’s expansion not only in Sweden but also in London. Peje Emilsson, administrator at Kunskapsskolan says, “…all entrepreneurs who succeed are being driven by the goal to change something.  Profit is a receipt to show that you’ve done it in a successful way, but the primary goal is not to make a lot of money.”

In India there are private schools that serve poor students and parents at little more than a dollar a week. Internationally acclaimed educator James Tooley, who has spent 10 years in India studying both the private and free public (or government) schools, comments on the abuses in the government school system contrasted with the achievements of these private schools.