Private Schools Are Thriving Among the World’s Poor (The Beautiful Tree)

Educational bureaucrats would have us believe that private education is unsustainable. Government must intervene and set up public schools, especially for the poor.

Not so, says James Tooley, author of The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People are Educating Themselves.

In this book, Tooley tells stories of his journeys visiting private schools throughout the world. He first came upon this phenomenon in Hyderabad, India. Then he went to Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, other parts of India, and China—and he found the same thing.

These are thriving private schools in the poorest of areas. They are low-cost and affordable, and they provide better education than the alternatives.

How is this possible?

It’s all about the free market. When people genuinely want an education for their children—and are not coerced by government—they will make it happen.

These schools are proof that schools do not need large financing and the latest technological resources.

So if you want some evidence to back up your support for private education, I encourage you to check out Tooley’s work. You can order his book, or just listen to Tooley’s interview on The Tom Woods Show—Episode 238, How Private Schools Educate the Poor. You can also find a transcript version of the interview on page 19 of Woods' e-book, Education Without the State.