Since the Libertarian Party is based on the idea of “liberty” as well as minimalist government involvement, naturally a Libertarian-run school system would look differently than the system that we have today. But what exactly would the system look like? This is completely hypothetical, but this is the idea that I have for how a Libertarian school system would operate.
To begin with, let’s take a look at standardized testing. In a Libertarian school system, it would be unlikely that the students will be required to go through standard tests that are mandated by the government. Since the focus is on the individual, you cannot hold other students against each other. Tests may still be given, but perhaps not required, allowing teachers to evaluate their students at a level appropriate for both the grade as well as what fits the students well.
There is a lot of pressure put on students globally, forcing students to take tests and take them well in order to pass onto the next level of school. Students under testing pressure have been reported to suffer from depression and anxiety, which is not benefitting the success of students.
In order to have an education set-up that is better tailored for the success of students. Part of this would be making the selection of subjects optional. Teachers could provide introduction courses in order to demonstrate what the topics and subject covers, but then allow the students to pursue what interests them rather than force them to follow subjects that they would struggle through.
The idea behind this is that students who are more enthusiastic about learning will be more likely to encourage their peers and improve the overall enthusiasm of a classroom. If you have a group of people who are far more excited by their studies, the learning environment will be positive overall.
Instead of forcing students to take lower level courses that may bore them, students would have the option to freely move to higher levels without having completed the lower level. Likewise, if a subject matter is simply too challenging, students will have the option to move down a level.
The purpose behind this is that students should not be rated with ability by their age. Some students are going to be more advanced than students of the same age while some may be struggling to keep up. This would also alter socialization since students will not be making friends with kids that are the same age necessarily, but instead would be making friends based on similarities and interests.
Attendance would be up to the student completely. They would not be penalized for absences. It is their responsibility to know what they can do to catch up. Students will be obligated to create their own timetables; no one is going to do it for them or tell them when to be and where. The key to this is that no one will do it for them after school is over, so they need to understand how that works now.
This will also breed an interest in school simply because no one is making them go to school. They will go because it is important and interesting to them, with the understanding of what the future career consequences would be if they fail to complete school. If a subject is not working out or is too hard, the students will have the opportunity to make the changes necessary to encourage them to succeed at school. While this may seem too hands-off to some, the concept is that children will learn organization and positive decision making young as well as understand that they have a direct hand in their own education, making them more involved than they are now.