Thinking Outside the Beltway
By Arnold Kling
I’m reading Be the Solution, by Michael Strong. I’m about 50 pages into it.
The book combines a passion for capitalism, a passion for solving social problems, and some New Age spirituality. Think Ayn Rand meets Stephen Covey.
I see the book as a manifesto for what I once called civil societarianism. The implicit message to young idealists is to solve problems through entrepreneurial innovation, not through political coercion. The implicit message to libertarians is that creating new enterprises is more important than arguing fine points of theory.
I would be interested to hear how other people react. From the preface:
The last school I created, a charter school in Angel Fire, New Mexico, was located in a region without any serious academic ambitions…I nonetheless implemented an AP program at Moreno Valley High School (MVHS)…The second year that MVHS was open, it was ranked in the top 150 schools in the Ul.S….The third year MVHS ranked number 36, with a passing rate for AP exams that was more than double the national average…Our students had taken more AP exams and done better on them than possibly any comparable school in the United States, starting from scratch in just three years.
But in the meantime I had been forced out of the school because I did not have an administrator’s license…when I started the school, it had not been required either. I was a victim of a change in New Mexico charter school law, and despite our school’s performance, the State Department of Education would not relent on the certification issue.