I could write a book on all the reasons public school doesn’t work very well (actually I’ve already written two), but since this is a single blog post, I want to highlight one reason in particular. It can’t quite be encapsulated by a single word, but I’ll try my best:


2018 might just be the year the space tourism industry officially opens up. Three of the world’s most innovative companies are planning to send customers into space within 12 months from now. Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and SpaceX.

5 years ago, this feat was in the distant future. What an exciting time to be alive. Why is this happening so quickly?

People pay for things they value. When there are customers ready to pay for something, the door opens for an entrepreneur to give them that value. In this case, customers value going into space for fun. So Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk are all trying to walk through that door. It’s not easy, but more importantly, it’s not required. Nobody is forced to fill that need. There is no government organization telling these three billionaires that they need to spend their time building a space tourism industry.

They’re just doing it because the reward will be massive. They each have a large chunk of skin in the game, as will their customers.

As a result, these 3 moguls are fiercely competing against each other. Imagine being the first one to send a customer into space. If there was no competition, the 2018 deadline wouldn’t be necessary.

Kids don’t pay for public school. Their parents do (kind of) through taxes. But they don’t have a choice. The government literally takes their money and gives it to the teachers regardless of how many students want to go to school. Then, they force the kids to go to the school that’s located closest to them regardless of how much value each student is getting from it.

Teachers nor students have skin in the game. There is no competition for teachers to prepare their students better, faster, or cheaper than the rest of them. Teachers are not accountable for the success their students in the same way a business is accountable for the success of their customers with their product.

I wonder what would happen if kids were given the option to choose which school they went to under the condition that they had to pay for it themselves.

What if schools operated like the market did?

This might seem impractical compared to the current cost and how the system is set up right now, but take a second to entertain the implications of this on a very generic level.

Students would have to find ways to make money if they wanted to get a formal education. The most creative and productive students would end up with the most money and thus the most options for schools. Naturally they would gravitate towards the schools offering the most valuable education.

Schools would have to convey the value of their specific curriculum to the students. If they didn’t show their value clearly, none of the students would pay them. The ineffective schools would either go out of business or be forced to make their product more appealing to the students. They’d get better, cheaper, and more efficient, or else they’d disappear.

In Praxis, our “students” are our customers. They pay us tuition because they’re expecting to gain a certain level of value out of our product. There is not a third party facilitating the rules of this exchange. We simply provide as much value for our customers as possible with the resources we have. We’re competing with colleges that sell a slower, less effective, more expensive product. It’s no surprise that our participants keep graduating and finding awesome jobs with zero debt in under a year.

If they didn’t, we’d go out of business.

I wonder what would happen if we let the market run our school system.