If you want to see an educational revolution, visit Phoenix, Arizona.
I just got back from a trip to Phoenix to attend a conference put on by the Great Hearts charter schools. Great Hearts is a system of sixteen classical charter schools in Arizona, which is now beginning to open schools in Texas as well, and, eventually, several other states.
While the public school establishment is shifting the chairs on the deck of their slowly sinking ship, Great Hearts is going back to what education really was about in the first place: passing on a culture.
Instead of textbooks, they're teaching the great books. Instead of indoctrinating students in all the absurd orthodoxies of our time, they're teaching them how to think. Instead of having teachers who are well-trained in amateur psychology but know little about the best that has been thought and said, they hire people who actually, you know, know stuff.
Four of the top ten high schools in the state are Great Hearts academies. There are about 5,500 students now being educated at these schools. About 11,000 children are on their waiting list. They eventually want to be educating 100,000 students.
One of their emphases is character education. As one of the school officials put it, "Our character program is the school itself." Of course, they're also learning virtue from the books they read--which are largely made up of classic works.
The Great Hearts academies are the schools the public education establishment doesn't want you to know about.