With the great inventions of the Industrial Revolution in the 17th century, productivity rose dramatically -- and the innovations behind it spread like wildfire. But not so in education.
In those early years, education was controlled by parents, but Horace Mann championed efforts to put education into the hands of state-appointed experts and state-trained teachers. And so, universal public education in America was born. The documentary flashes forward to East Los Angeles, and a modern story of what happened when Jaime Escalante, a gifted math teacher at Garfield High, and the educational excellence he created in the classroom became the basis of the Hollywood movie, Stand and Deliver. Finally, Coulson travels to Seoul, South Korea, where college-bound students eagerly enroll in after school tutoring programs called “Hagwons.” Students and administrators tell us how well it works, and one professor declares he makes more than a million dollars in salary every year.
In “The Price of Excellence,” the first episode of School, Inc., the late Andrew Coulson, senior fellow of education policy at Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, explores the industry of education, its history, the politics that sometimes impede the growth of good schools – and good teachers -- and the rise of entrepreneurial educators.