Freedom should drive education

Regarding the March 17 editorial, “New York, Chicago, and the war on charter schools,” the problem isn’t with charter schools but with the continuation of the top-down, “we know best” design. A freedom-driven, bottom-up design is far superior.

On average, Illinois spends just over $13,000 per pupil per year. Let’s put parents 100 percent in charge of how and where this money is spent in some sort of state-regulated environment. This one change, which doesn’t cost an extra dime, will transform public education.

I don’t claim to have the answers to every problem confronting public education, but I do know the system that will most assuredly find it. That system is freedom.

John Conlin, Littleton

This letter was published in the Chicago Tribune letters to the editor on March 17th 2014. Check out the article here: “Freedom should drive education“.

John Conlin

John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He started End The Education Plantation because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools and believes it’s time to do something about that. Join our email list for continuing updates. And get involved. We’re a grassroots organization.


Empower parents with more than ‘school choice’

mu4cq5-b781189380z.120131003173818000g2c1g4k1d.1To abuse a famous movie line, “we don’t need no stinkin’ school choice.” We don’t need no charter schools, vouchers, parent triggers or any of the other common tools of the school choice movement, either.

These things are only minor improvements on a failing system. In a perverse way, they only further entrench the status quo. As The Who put it: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

What we need is to toss away a failing design and embrace a well-established and quite successful state-regulatory design that will put parents in charge of their children’s education.
Most fourth- and eighth-graders aren’t proficient in math or reading. ACT reports 75 percent of incoming college freshmen are not prepared to start college. Spending on public education has tripled over the past 50 years with little or no progress in student achievement.

The public school system is the only state-regulated industry also run by the state.
I work in the alcoholic beverage industry. It’s a state-regulated industry built on a better design. The state sets boundaries, rules and qualifications for participants, and that’s it. As long as participants stay within the bounds, they’re free to operate as they see fit. This unleashes the creative juices of millions and allows – in fact, demands – participants to compete for their customers’ business.

Effective regulation with dynamic and competitive markets are the norm with this design of state regulation. And the customer always wins.

We propose a similar system for our schools. Give parents control over the money spent to educate their children, provide state-approved standards that schools must meet and force schools to compete for students. Just like in other industries, the ones who do a lousy job will improve or fail. The ones that do a good job will flourish and spread.

Moving to this well-established state-regulated system is simple, straightforward and won’t cost an extra dime. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, this would put, on average, around $12,000 per child per year in every California parent’s pocket.

For the sake of millions of young lives and the future of the country, the public education system must be reformed and it must be done now. Every day’s delay means the destruction of thousands of young lives. Every child in the country, rich or poor, will benefit from this change.

This design works in every other state-regulated industry, it is the norm. There is no logical reason to believe it won’t work in public education, too.

But as we dawdle, let us not forget that the life opportunities of very real children are being destroyed each and every day. As you ponder whether we have the political will to make this change, look in the eyes of millions of young lives whose very futures hang in the balance.

The question really isn’t why to change, but how could any honorable person fight to keep children in this failing system, when a proven better system is simply a small change away?

– John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant and founder of End The Education Plantation in Littleton, Colo.

This letter was originally published in the Orange County Register on October 3, 2013. Here’s the original article.

John Conlin

John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He started End The Education Plantation because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools and believes it’s time to do something about that. Join our email list for continuing updates. And get involved. We’re a grassroots organization.


Debating Common Core standards for education

Can’t we just leave teachers and administrators alone and let them do their jobs? They have to jump through this hoop for these folks, then that hoop for another. I can understand why so many teachers simply get fed up and leave the profession. Is teaching actually a profession anymore or are they simply bureaucrats who implement directives from above? Directives that often treat other people’s children as the latest educational experiment.

Let’s quit telling teachers what to do, how to do it, and how often it needs to be done. If a teacher or administrator is incompetent, then help them improve or replace them. Otherwise let’s allow them to do their jobs and be held accountable by the results they generate. That is the only educational reform that is needed.

John Conlin, Littleton

This letter was published in the Denver Post online edition on August 25.

John Conlin

John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He started End The Education Plantation because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools and believes it’s time to do something about that. Join our email list for continuing updates. And get involved. We’re a grassroots organization.


PUT PARENTS IN CHARGE OF EDUCATION

This article originally appeared on heartland.org and can be found here

It took just eight years and 56 days for the United States to deliver on President John F. Kennedy’s pledge to put a man on the moon. But we’re still waiting on another Kennedy proposal: school reform.

In fact, every president since Kennedy—10 presidents over 50 years—has had a plan to “reform” our failing public education system. None of their proposals has noticeably improved student achievement.

After President Franklin Delano Roosevelt started an organization to fight polio in 1937, it took about 30 years to eradicate polio from most of the world.

In 1983, President Reagan called for developing technology to intercept incoming enemy missiles. Many thought the idea impossible. Today this technology is deployed around the globe.

It’s also been 30 years since the Reagan administration issued its famous education reform report, “A Nation at Risk.” But those warnings have gone largely unheeded.

Nation Still at Risk

You could staff a small army with the number of people fighting to reform public education. But most fourth and eighth graders aren’t proficient in math or reading. College-ready testing service SAT reports 12th grade reading scores are at a 40-year low. Its competitor, ACT, reports 75 percent of incoming college freshman are not prepared for college.

Only 4 percent of African-American students graduate from high school ready for college. Forty percent of all college freshmen must take some sort of remedial course work. Fewer than half of college students graduate within six years. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports 80 million to 90 million adults—about half the workforce—don’t have the skills required to get or advance in jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage.

Our schools are failing even though our country is filled with hardworking, dedicated and loving teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and volunteers.

For the most part they labor mightily to succeed. But they don’t have the power to unravel the mess the public education system has become. Sure the teacher’s unions are resistant to change. But they’re not the reason for these failures.

Money’s Not the Problem

The United States spends more money per pupil than any other country on the planet, save one, at about $13,000 per pupil per year. In many places the number is far higher. In Washington DC it’s an astounding $30,000 per pupil. In New York City, it’s $27,000.

Over the years, researchers have found little to no impact on student achievement from increased education spending.

Why are our schools, whose only purpose is education, unable to teach children of average intelligence to read in an eight-year or even twelve-year time span?

It’s the system that’s broken, not the people running it.

Joel Klein, former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, has described our public school system as a state-run monopoly highly resistant to change.

Fund Students, Not Bureaucracies

The solution? End the monopoly and force schools to compete for students by funding students, not schools or school districts.

That’s what we propose:

  • Any state or school district that accepts federal education funds must provide parent-directed funding for their children’s K-12 education equal to at least 95 percent of the average total per pupil spending of that specific school district or state.
  • Parents/guardians will direct how and where this money is spent: At any state-approved school or course provider to purchase any and all learning services and other school-related needs. Unused funds may be retained for future education, including college tuition and fees.
  • Per-student spending for special-needs children will be adjusted as determined by elected state officials, being some multiple(s) of the adjusted average total per pupil spending.
  • States will have two years to implement these changes. After that, failure to comply will result in the immediate termination of all federal education funds until the state complies.

Most parents aren’t classroom experts. But they know what’s good for their kids. Giving parents control over the money spent to educate their children will:

  • Turn parents into consumers in a competitive marketplace, giving them the power to choose the schools their children attend.
  • Force K-12 schools to compete for students. Poor-performing schools will either improve or go out of business. And with millions of families to serve, there will be huge incentives for educators to create new schools that will do a good job.
  • Force schools to treat parents and their kids as customers. Successful schools will be the ones that do the best job of serving family needs.
  • This one simple change, which could be implemented right now, will unleash the wisdom of millions as the power of free people freely interacting with other free people transforms public education. Every student will gain, as will every teacher.

Based on the success of competition everywhere else, our proposal is guaranteed to work. It can be done quickly. And it doesn’t cost an extra dime. What moral and honorable reason is there for not making this change right now? What moral and honorable reason is there for fighting to keep the same old failing system?

John Conlin (johnconlin@endtheeducationplantation.org) is a management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He is founder of End The Education Plantation.

John Conlin

John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He started End The Education Plantation because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools and believes it’s time to do something about that. Join our email list for continuing updates. And get involved. We’re a grassroots organization.


School Choice: An offensive name

the-liberator-logoEnd The Education Plantation. A provocative name. An offensive name to some.

But what’s being done to our children by our public education system is the real offense. The poorer you are, the worse it is. And, sadly, far too many of these children have black and brown skin.

I named our organization End the Education Plantation because that’s what I want to do.

The slavery analogy is intentional. And appropriate. Because we’re fighting a modern form of slavery. Not just figuratively, but literally.

We want to give every parent in America an opportunity choose the school their children attend by putting them in charge of the money spent to educate their children.

If you boil the arguments against school choice down to their most basic, you arrive at the plantation: “We can’t allow parents the freedom to choose because if we did too many would run off the plantation by choosing the ‘wrong’ school.” Taking away someone else’s choices and imposing your will on them is the definition of slavery.

The parallels between the anti-slavery abolition movement and the school choice movement are striking. The abolitionists had the Underground Railroad that helped people held as slaves reach freedom. A group of dedicated, committed folks risked a lot to save these poor souls, one at a time.

The school choice movement has our equivalent of the Underground Railroad, a cadre of dedicated, loving people who fight tirelessly to free children from schools that destroy their lives before they even have a chance to get started.

Some fight for school choice on a one-by-one basis, saving individuals through scholarships, donations, and mentoring. Some fight the fight on the political front, forcing a resistant government monopoly to provide some degree of freedom for this or that group.

Skirmishes are being won across the country. Yet the number of parents with children in public schools who are truly free to choose the schools their kids attend is heartbreakingly small — about one half of one percent.

Income determines quality

The fact remains that family income is the single biggest determinant of the quality of a student’s education in the public education system.

My role models are people from the abolition and civil rights movements. A primary guide and the creator of the original Liberator is anti-slavery fighter, William Lloyd Garrison. Garrison fought against the evils of physical slavery. We’re fighting educational slavery.

Although Garrison supported the Underground Railroad and any other means to free the slaves, he knew this was not enough. He knew that another front had to be fought: A full on, frontal assault on the evils of slavery and all who supported it.

The school choice movement demands the same. We don’t want to pull back on any of the efforts happening to expand school choice.

But we need to start a new front in this war. We need the courage to fight the final fight, to reach for freedom for all — not just the lucky few who make it along our Underground Railroad. For fans of The Lord of the Rings, we need to march to our battle for Mordor.

At one time Garrison made the mistake of being willing to accept freedom for some as a partial victory. He regretted that decision. Offering incremental freedom to a lucky few is no more acceptable today than it was in Garrison’s time.

I salute those working tirelessly for educational freedom. We don’t want to end these incremental efforts. But we can’t be satisfied with them, either.

We believe we have the strategy to achieve this goal.

We propose a federal law requiring states to fund parents, not school districts. We don’t want to dictate how the states implement this, just that they do it. And we would set a floor of at least 95 percent of the total per-pupil spending by each state or school district that would be controlled by parents.

This kind of legislation would get us almost immediately to the day when every parent has the opportunity to send their kids to a school offering them a quality education.

Giving parents control over the money spent to educate their children will turn parents into consumers in a competitive marketplace. That will force schools to treat parents and their kids as customers because they’ll be forced to compete for students. And that will force poor-performing schools to get better or go out of business.

Clock is ticking

But the clock is ticking loudly. We need to fire this thing up and to do that we need your support.

Ideally, we are rolling prior to the 2014 elections. We need to win this while President Obama is in office. Through the application of political pain, we can get the votes to pass this law.

We intend to use the moral issues involved to their full extent. And the moral issues are overwhelming. There are literally millions of heartbreaking stories out there. We will air them and force politicians to directly confront them.

Garrison used strong language to make his point and didn’t apologize for doing so. We do the same. If our language offends, so be it. What is happening to the children of this land is offensive. The damage done to their lives, before they even have a chance to live them, will not stand. The damage done to this great country as these children with poor educations grow and have children of their own will not stand. That the children and parents of this land are treated as literal slaves to the education plantation will not stand.

But this plan also has a tremendous “pull-thru” aspect too. I believe we can garner 90+% support from the poor and middle class for this law. It will put a tremendous amount of money under the control of parents, in some sort of state-regulated environment of course.

Give me the money

I’ve talked to working folks across the country. I explain what I’m trying to accomplish and ask them a simple question. “Do you think you could get a better education for your children if you controlled how/where the money was spent or would you prefer to stick with the present system?”

So far, 100 percent have said give me the money.

There are only 536 people on the entire planet who are keeping the children of this country slaves to the education establishment — 535 members of Congress and the President of the United States. Many of them are already on our side. For the rest, either realize you are on the wrong side of this issue and change your mind or face the political wrath of millions.

But we need your help to get this new battle front going. Please help spread the word. Email your friends. Send us money. The odds might seem small but all success begins with strategy and we have a great one.

The future of the country and millions of young lives depend on our success. Garrison and Martin Luther King Jr. wouldn’t accept defeat or partial solutions and neither will we. We will not let ourselves or the children of this country down.

Please help.

John Conlin

John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He started End The Education Plantation because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools and believes it’s time to do something about that. Join our email list for continuing updates. And get involved. We’re a grassroots organization.


School Choice and Slavery

the-liberator-logoI’ve been asked many times why I persist in comparing what’s happening in our schools with slavery. So, let me explain.

On average, states spend about half of their entire budget on K-12 public education.

But the people who are the reason for the education system — children and parents — have little or no voice in how the system is run, how their children are taught, what they’re taught, how the dollars used to pay for their children’s education are spent — or even the days and hours the schools operate.

In most cases, parents unwilling or unable to send their kids to private or parochial schools are forced to send their kids to the public school for their neighborhood. They don’t have any choice — even when they know that school is doing a lousy job.

Parents’ unhappiness with this lack of choice is at the heart of the expanding school choice movement, with parents demanding things like charter schools and vouchers.

And the arguments against school choice boil down to this: Giving every parent a choice about the schools their children attend will destroy our public schools because too many parents will send their kids somewhere other than their neighborhood public school.

That’s the essence of slavery: We’re in charge and we won’t let you choose because you might make the “wrong” choice.

In some areas, sending your kids to the “wrong” school — a school other than your neighborhood public school — can actually be a criminal offense punishable by fines and jail.

And in many cases where parents do have choices, their choices are limited to one or two schools — and the schools on the list probably follow the same structure as the neighborhood school the parents want to avoid.

I generally don’t get much argument when I say our schools are failing. There seems to be something approaching a national consensus on that. There are many statistics to back that up that I’ll be happy to share with you, if you like.

But, the argument goes, we can’t let parents choose the schools their kids will attend because that will destroy our public school system. How do you break something that’s already broken to the point of being dysfunctional?

Much of the debate over school choice has focused on charter schools and vouchers. It’s the wrong issue. Some charter schools are great. Some are lousy. Some public schools are great. Some are lousy. School choice isn’t about building more charter schools. It’s about letting parents decide where to send their kids to school.

Let parents decide what school is best for their kids. We propose doing that by putting parents in charge of the money spent on educating them. You’ll find more specifics on our website.

Poor performing schools would be forced to improve or go out of business. Good schools would have incentives to get even better to remain competitive. And the competitive marketplace would lead to choices that stretch well beyond charter schools and vouchers.

Henry Ford once said his customers were free to buy any color car they wanted as long as it was black. And, of course, they could buy any model they wanted as long as it was a Model T. We have lots more choices in cars today. Cars that can’t compete go away. The public votes with their pocketbooks. Cars that deliver good value are one the ones most likely to succeed.

We’re taking the same approach to education that Henry Ford did to color selection. You can attend any school you like as long as it’s the one assigned to serve your neighborhood.

Forcing parents to send their kids to schools they know are doing a lousy job is a form of slavery. And it condemns most of the children who attend classes there to lives of failure and poverty.

Your education — or your children’s education — will have a profound effect on your future and your kids’ future. Shouldn’t you have a say in what it looks like?

If you don’t, you’re stuck on the education plantation. And it’s time to end educational slavery in this country.

John Conlin

John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He started End The Education Plantation because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools and believes it’s time to do something about that. Join our email list for continuing updates. And get involved. We’re a grassroots organization.


Change education paradigm

John Conlin: Change education paradigm

Originally Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Original Article can be found in the Longmont Times

Regarding your June 3 editorial, “Build, fund effective K-12 system,” Colorado spends on average $10,640 per pupil per year on K-12 education; the national average is around $13,000.

You can get a pretty good private education for that amount, yet Colorado taxpayers need to fork over another $1 billion to help improve the public education system? Perhaps we should demand better performance before spending even more money on a failing system.

Rather than throwing a billion dollars at a broken system, why don’t we change the system? Let’s quit funding the education establishment and instead fund parents and children. Let’s simple give this money to the parents, in some state-regulated environment of course, and let them decide how/where it is spent.

Freedom and competition have transformed the world; they will do the same for public education. Freedom has never been wrong. Let’s free the children from the education plantation and let the actual results determine the way forward. Enough with throwing more money at the status quo. Let’s change the very paradigm on which public education is based, and in the process unleash the wisdom of millions.

John Conlin, founder
End the Education Plantation

John Conlin

John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He started End The Education Plantation because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools and believes it’s time to do something about that. Join our email list for continuing updates. And get involved. We’re a grassroots organization.


School Choice: A tipping point?

the-liberator-logoI attended the American Federation of Children’s Fourth Annual Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., recently.

It was a great conference with outstanding speakers and participants. And I was honored to be the dinner guest of Walden Media, an organization that publishes children’s books and turns classic children’s books like “Holes,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Chronicles of Narnia” and “Because of Winn-Dixie” into movies designed to entertain and encourage kids to read.

But the conference also put me in touch once again with my impatience to get to the day when every parent, not a few, can choose a school offering their kids a quality education.

Supporters of school choice are winning skirmish after skirmish across the country. The trend lines showing the increased availability of school choice are impressive.

One speaker noted that 250,000 children in the United States have some kind of school choice. And he said he hopes to come back in five years when a million children have choices about the schools they attend.

Worth celebrating? Sure. And I, for one, am grateful to the people who have been out winning those political battles. I can only imagine how hard it’s been. I’ve heard some of the war stories.

But those 250,000 children are one-half of one percent of the 50 million children enrolled in America’s public schools. Even if we reach one million in five years, that would mean just two percent of the parents with children in our public schools will get to choose the school their kids attend.

So, celebrate for the 250,000. But what about the 49,750,000 who don’t have a choice? Some of them are being left behind forever because they’re still being forced to attend poor-performing schools.

The conference theme was Go Big, Go Bold. I’m for that. Going big and bold is exactly what I had in mind when I created End The Education Plantation last year.

At End The Education Plantation, we want every parent to have an opportunity to choose a school that will offer their children a quality education.

We propose a federal law requiring states to fund parents, not school districts. We don’t want to dictate how the states implement this, just that they do it. And we would set a floor of at least 95 percent of the total per-pupil spending by each state or school district that would be controlled by parents.

That kind of legislation would get us almost immediately to the day when every parent has the opportunity to send their kids to a school offering them a quality education.

Giving parents control over the money spent to educate their children will turn parents into consumers in a competitive marketplace. That will force schools to treat parents and their kids as customers because they’ll be forced to compete for students. And that will force poor-performing schools to get better or go out of business.

I’m fairly new to this fight. I don’t have the battle scars of those who’ve been in the trenches for the fights that have taken place. But I don’t have their pessimism, either. They’ve succeeded in accomplishing a lot. But many of the school-choice warriors I’ve met believe the battles to come will be every bit as hard as the ones they’ve already fought and won.

My hope and my expectation is that we’ll hit a tipping point that opens the flood gates and gets us to the finish line much more quickly than most of the battle-scarred veterans I’ve met seem to think. I’m also a newbie. So, maybe I’m just naïve.

But if our legislation becomes law, the fight will be over and we’ll have won.

We need your support to do that. Let’s step up and really Go Big, Go Bold.

John Conlin

John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He started End The Education Plantation because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools and believes it’s time to do something about that. Join our email list for continuing updates. And get involved. We’re a grassroots organization.


Re: “Diplomas should mean something,” May 18 editorial.

Re: “Diplomas should mean something,” May 18 editorial.

We seem to have lost the basic reason for the public education system. Its original goal was to educate all American children, not provide “seat time” for 12 years. If learning was the focus of the first 12 years, then graduation requirements would be a trivial matter. Is it asking too much that an organization solely dedicated to education be able to teach children of average intelligence to read, write and understand math in a 12-year time span?

But not to worry, as your editorial points out, “nothing is going to take effect for quite a long time.” What that means in the real world is that for any child whose heart beats today, these proposed changes are meaningless. They will remain stuck in a failing system that literally robs them of their life opportunities. Perhaps it will be better for their children.

Lastly, the editorial notes, “It’s never easy to turn the great ship of educational bureaucracy, but this task is worth the hard work it will take to complete.” Again, in the real world this means we simply don’t have the political will to address this clearly failing institution. All while we sit idly by and watch hundreds of thousands of young lives damaged by a great concept that has lost its way.

John ConlinLittleton

This letter was published in the May 25 edition of the Denver Post online .

John Conlin

John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He started End The Education Plantation because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools and believes it’s time to do something about that. Join our email list for continuing updates. And get involved. We’re a grassroots organization.


School Choice: Get schools out of political wars

the-liberator-logoLet’s get our kids and our schools out of the culture and political wars.

Should 4 + 4 = 8 have a political spin? Or the spelling of cat? Or the ability to read?

But vouchers and charter schools have become politically sensitive terms that trigger intense emotions on both sides of the political divide.

Arguing about vouchers and charter schools is arguing about the wrong thing.

Vouchers and charter schools aren’t magic potions that will solve the problems with our nation’s schools.

They aren’t poison pills that will destroy public schools, either.

Vouchers and charter schools simply reflect the desire by a growing number of parents for choices when it comes to deciding where to send their kids to school.

I created End The Education Plantation last year with the goal of putting parents in charge of their children’s education by putting them in charge of the money used to educate them.

I’m not an advocate of charter schools or vouchers or public schools. I’m not opposed to any of them, either. I’m for giving parents choices and for getting better results than we are today when it comes to educating our children — rich, poor or in the middle.

We propose a federal law requiring states to fund parents, not school districts. We don’t want to dictate how the states implement this, just that they do it. And we would set a floor of at least 95 percent of the total per-pupil spending by each state or school district that would be controlled by parents.

Some parents already have choices, of course. We’ve had private and parochial schools for generations. But many parents don’t have choices. Or they want more choices than the ones available to them.

I’m on the side of those parents.

Most parents aren’t classroom experts. But they know what’s good for their kids. Giving parents control over the money spent to educate their kids will turn them into consumers in a competitive marketplace. They’ll be able to choose where their kids go to school.

That will force schools to compete for their business. And that will force schools — public, private, charter or something else — to improve or go out of business.

Let’s quit arguing about vouchers and charter schools. Let’s put parents in charge, give them choices and let them decide which school they believe will do the best job of educating their children.

Henry Ford once said “any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Look around next time you’re out on the highway. People who buy cars are choosing more colors than the one offered to them by Mr. Ford back in the days of the Model T.

It’s time to do the same with our schools.

John Conlin

John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant who lives in Littleton, Colorado. He started End The Education Plantation because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools and believes it’s time to do something about that. Join our email list for continuing updates. And get involved. We’re a grassroots organization.


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Who We Are

End the Education Plantation is a temporary nonprofit organization founded by John Conlin of Littleton, Colorado, because he’s seen first-hand the harm being caused by our nation’s schools. We are a grassroots organization with one and only one goal: Give every parent in America the opportunity to send their children to schools offering a quality education.

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