How You Can Help

1. Tell your friends about us on Facebook or Twitter.

2. Visit Alpine Valley Academy’s website and perhaps attend one of their Intro Meetings.

3. Like, Tweet or Share our video on freedom-based education on

4. Invite Jesse Fisher to speak to your group.

  • 24Jun

    Let’s pretend our country is a Constitutional Republic, complete with Separation and Balance of Powers and where the Rule of Law holds sway – where “Liberty and Justice for All” is not just a tagline but a way of life. Given that, what should our schools look like if we were to want to preserve our nation’s freedoms?

    Doesn’t logic suggest our schools should be microcosms of the greater free society? So that our children would learn to live according to principles of freedom and self-government, shouldn’t the school reflect those values and be organized after the same pattern?

    Bad news: They aren’t.

    In fact, I have to ask, “Why in the world do we structure our schools like a mid-1800s factory?” The analogy is near-perfect. The School Board is the board of directors, the Superintendent of Schools is… well “The Superintendent”, the Principals are the mid-level managers, the teachers are the line managers, and the students, sitting at the bottom of the power structure, are the factory workers. The students have no power at all – they are told where, when, what and how to learn.

    It gets worse.

    As a recovering public school teacher I know from first-hand experience that the teacher, benevolent as she may be, is by definition a tyrant – she is the legislature, judiciary, and executive in her classroom. Any social system that has all three governmental powers in one hand constitutes a dictatorship. Yet, we send our kids there every year because the NEA tells us it will make them “good citizens”. Good citizens of what? Of a free society? Not so much.

    There was a popular poem back in the 1970s by Dorothy Law Nolte entitled, “Children Learn What They Live”. The poem began, “If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.” I say, “If a child spends 12 years in a rigid top-down hierarchy and is denied all the rights he is to responsibly wield when he turns 18, he learns to be a ‘good citizen’ of a oligarchy.” (OK, it’s a little lengthy, but you get the point).

    The solution?

    Constitutional Republic schools. In fact, we’re launching one this fall in northern Utah County. The school is patterned after one that has been operating successfully for nearly 50 years and has dozens of copy-cats around the world – from such foreign countries as California… to as far away as New Zealand, Israel and Japan. The school rules are made by an assembly made up of the staff and students with one-man, one-vote, and, since the adults are way out-numbered, the students are the majority party (don’t worry, it really does work out just fine. Kids are a lot more responsible legislators than we adults give them credit for).

    The school also has a judiciary where students (and staff) can be brought up on charges and tried. I personally was tried in such a student court, was found guilty, and was sentenced to mopping the floors. I did it gladly, knowing that the students learned more about Civics that day than they ever would have sitting in a boring lecture in a classroom somewhere.

    Our version of the model will also have an Executive Branch and will consist of the Executive Committee that is responsible for executing the Student Council’s laws and the Judiciary’s rulings. Also, they will wield the veto power, which of course, can be overridden by a 2/3rds majority in the Legislative Branch.

    Besides learning self-government first-hand, there are other enormous advantages of this model of education. The students are 14-times more likely to start a business by the time they are 30, so, instead of having to move away to the big city to “find work” they are capable and confident enough to start their own businesses, strengthening their home towns’ economies. Also, those graduates who choose to go onto college get in the college of their 1st or 2nd choice, and, they are more likely than graduates of traditional schools to actually finish their Bachelors and get an advanced degree.

    We, the founders of Alpine Valley Academy, believe that to preserve freedom in America, we must do it in the hearts of our children – create freedom-based institutions where self-government is a way of life, not a topic of study.

    Utah's Sudbury School
    Learn more at

    Jesse Fisher, Board Member, Alpine Valley Academy, Lehi, Utah.

    Posted by admin @ 6:54 pm

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.