Monday, February 15, 2010

School Competition: British Lawmakers Consider Religious Schools (some odd)

The failure of public education has spurred interest in government encouragement of privately-controlled schools, including schools run by any number of religions, such as actress Goldie Hawn's Buddhist school of meditation, where "simple breathing exercises can boost a child’s ability to absorb knowledge."

-- From "Class, say hello to Miss Hawn" by Jonathan Oliver, London Sunday Times 2/14/10

The Conservatives are planning a schools revolution — with the help of the French, the Swedes and Goldie Hawn, the Hollywood actress.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Michael Gove, the shadow schools secretary, disclosed that he was in talks with the French government and a Swedish education chain to set up state schools in Britain.

The Tories have faced criticism that their policies on tackling the budget deficit and recognising marriage in the tax system are ill thought out. However, schools reform is one area where the party is ready to move quickly if it wins the general election.

The idea is that charities, churches and parents’ groups will be given the freedom to set up schools in the state sector. Hundreds of schools, particularly in deprived areas, will be taken out of local authority control and given new management.

The new schools will receive about £5,000 for each pupil they attract and to encourage them to set up in the inner cities they will receive a premium for each pupil from a deprived background. It is understood this extra cash will amount to about £1,000 per child.

Until now it had been assumed that most of the new schools would be set up by the main churches and existing sponsors of city academies.

The third potential new entrant to the British schools market is Hawn, the 64-year-old American comedy actress. Hawn, who was brought up Jewish but turned to Buddhism in mid-life, promotes through her Hawn Foundation charity a teaching programme known as MindUp which incorporates ideas of eastern meditation.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.