James N. Tooley

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Nominated by:  David J. Theroux

James N. Tooley, professor of education policy and director of the E.G. West Centre at Newcastle University upon Tyre, has researched low-cost, private schools in developing countries. His award-winning book, The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves, profiled in BBC and PBS documentaries, shows that in many slums and shanty towns in India and Africa, most schoolchildren are in low-cost, private schools, where they significantly outperform children in public schools. Now turning his attention to the U.S., he is showing how low-cost, private schools could provide superior educational options for the poor and all of America’s children.

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