I have written on a project that I wish Ron Paul would work on, now that he has retired from political office. That is the creation of a Ron Paul curriculum, which could be marketed independently, or it could be made available through the Ron Paul Academy. You can read the main article here: http://www.garynorth.com/public/6786.cfm.
The model for this is the Khan Academy. It is very successful. It has been used by millions of students. It is online, and it is free of charge. He teaches mathematics, business, physics, and other courses.
I believe that Ron Paul could put together a team of high school teachers who could create an online curriculum. I recommend that it be tied to the United States Constitution. The American history would talk about the development of colonial American society prior to the American Revolution, and would then move to the Revolution and the Constitution. Then it would show how the society, step-by-step, abandoned the limited-government viewpoint of the framers of the Constitution
He could use Robert Murphy to teach economics. Someone would have to teach the history of Western civilization, with a focus on the rise of the rule of law, the spread of private property, the defense of contracts, and economic development, since about 1800, on an unprecedented scale, which has created a world completely different from the world of 1800. It would present the destructive effects of war.
I keep thinking that there are high school teachers out there who could buy an inexpensive high-definition camcorder, put it on a tripod, buy a cheap lapel microphone, and record at least one classroom presentation a day. These could be posted on YouTube, preferably on a YouTube channel. Or, if the teacher wanted to restrict access to the material, in order to sell it to homeschool families, he could produce the videos and post them on Amazon S3.
Ron Paul could use these videos. If he could locate high school teachers who have a commitment to the free market social order comparable to his, he could put together a curriculum that I think would be widely adopted by homeschool parents. I think he has credibility, I think he has the public’s trust. If parents knew that he had assembled a group of high school teachers, who then produced a curriculum based on video presentations, readings in primary sources, and a workbook coordinating each course, I think he could sell a lot of these curriculum disks. Maybe he could create a membership site that would let parents join, and they could buy access to courses on the site. He could make a good living doing this. He could split the revenues from the sale of the courses.
Do I think the parents would pay something in the range of $50 a course, plus $100 a year to join the site? Would they pay to let their children participate in forums for each of the courses? If a student took five classes, the courses would cost a total of $250. The parent would pay $100 for a student to join the site. That is $350 a year. I think a curriculum put together by Ron Paul from materials produced by dedicated high school teachers who are committed to his position would be worth $350 a year. I think 10,000 homeschool families would agree with me. You can see the numbers involved. This would not be a nonprofit operation.
The cost of producing the videos is virtually nothing. The cost of producing the workbooks is nothing. All of it can be put together inexpensively and offered either free of charge on YouTube, or restricted on Amazon S3. It is just a matter of time invested. Any effective teacher could produce a course like this over the next academic year. I do not understand why there are not dozens of these courses free of charge online. There are so many teachers in the United States, and YouTube is free. You would think that there would be dozens of competitors to Salman Khan. But there aren’t.
I hate to think that it is a lack of entrepreneurship that is the cause of this lack of competition. I would hate even more to think that virtually all of America’s high school teachers are too embarrassed to stand in front of a camcorder, record what they say, and post this for all the world to see.
I recommend that every competent teacher make videos of what he teaches. If he has to do it after class, in order to avoid any kind of conflict of interest, he can do that. What he does on his own time belongs to him. Any videos that he produces on his own time belong to him.
It would seem to me that this would be a perfect way to generate income. I know the teachers have a lot of extra time, but I also know that they are not well paid in private schools. It seems to me that the Web is the greatest thing that has ever come down the pike for teachers. I do not understand why more of them do not take advantage of this opportunity.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in producing this kind of course, I suggest you begin this year. You don’t have to post the videos on YouTube. Just be sure that you keep backups whatever you produce. You can put them on disks, or you can store them on tape. Tape is the cheapest way to store them. Sony produces such a machine.