I'll be 65 in 2008:
Let's get the Alliance Ready to Outlive Me!
by Marshall Fritz, Founder and President
Letter of December 12, 2002
Dear Friend of Education:
Frederick Douglass didn't know how long it would take to free the slaves, but he knew it was a good idea to work for that splendid day.
You and I don't know how long it will take to free education from government control. But we know it's the right thing to work on. Will we get it done in five years? I doubt it. Should we keep going in 2008, even if by then I'm out of the picture? Yes, of course!
While my health news is good, it is time to start preparing for the Alliance to outlive my productivity. That's why I'm going to ask for your help in both talent and finances.
But first, a quick review of 2002 is in order.
In February, I announced that my prostate cancer had returned and I needed to take the next step in the battle plan. You might recall that I chose a 13-month program of testosterone suppression with a 5-month chemo kicker. Among the side effects would be fatigue, so I downsized the office staff to one. Several major donors said they'd stand by me.
Now, with eight months of treatment behind me and five to go, I can report that the cancer is at 0.0 (i.e., gone). The chemo they gave me was such a light dosage that the sympathy I got from friends outweighed the side effects by an 11-to-1 ratio! So I feel pretty chipper.
The Surprise Growth
By the dawn of 2002, we had 14,000 signatories on the Proclamation. Then just after the downsizing, a major evangelical Protestant leader, Dr. James Dobson, announced that government schooling in California was so bad that he urged everybody to get their children out. A week later, Dr. Laura Schlesinger endorsed his statement, but applied it to all states. Over the next 60 days, due to very favorable press coverage in WorldNetDaily.com and FoxNews.com, over 6,000 people signed the Proclamation. We were blown away! And we're now at 23,000!
We're preparing for the next impossible-to-predict deluge by re-programming our database to make donating easier and allow a new signer to immediately see his/her name on our website . . . and send a "Look what I' ve done" note along to friends. "Viral marketing," eh?
More 2002 Highlights
We attracted more VIPs to endorse the Proclamation, including author Dinesh D'Souza, parenting columnist John Rosemond, psychologist Nathaniel Branden, Catholic bishop Francisco José Arnaiz, S.J., and entertainers Penn & Teller.
While my travel schedule was curtailed, I did squeeze in speeches at the Foundation for Economic Education Festival (FEE Fest) in Las Vegas in May, Washington University in October, and Baylor University in November.
At the instigation of friend Ed Hurlbutt, we are developing a new, powerful case for removing your child from today's "common school." In a pluralistic society, the common school cannot educate because in order to prevent upheavals and lawsuits, teachers must avoid class discussion about the deepest questions faced by humans, such as, "Is there a purpose to life? How does one know?" This "exile of reasoning" reduces schooling to job preparation and fact retention for test taking. When we can explain this concept better, it'll be a strong weapon to show thinking people how today's society robs children of true education. You can see my first attempt to communicate this at "Wash U" by clicking here.
Mid-year, we had a fresh realization that getting more signatures on the Proclamation is only half the job, and that what is going to bring down government schools is for millions and millions of parents to remove their children. It may take 10 million or more, but someday we'll reach the point where support for government schools just collapses. It could happen over a period of days just as support for Marxism collapsed prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
We need to help the "million at the margin" (those considering removing their children) see the risk to their children vs. the advantages of home and private schooling, and help them discover the many private options they may not have considered. See our new web page to help parents find alternatives by clicking here.
2003 Start Building a Different Type of Organization
For nine years, we've researched the reasons why we should liberate schools from the government. Further, we've test-marketed ways to spread this bold idea. I enjoy the research and market testing like an icebreaker takes to polar sea ice; it's what I was built for!
But unless there is a cargo ship following the icebreaker, so what? We need to convert the prototype stuff I've developed into support materials so that hundreds of separation advocates are speaking and debating; and other hundreds are writing letters to the editor and commentaries for their local papers; and other hundreds are promoting the idea on the Internet. We need to build an organization that recruits, motivates, and equips volunteers to do the heavy lifting of spreading this idea. And to do that, I need to find a person who both enjoys building this sort of organization and has proven he or she can do it.
Good news. . . . I have found such a person; he is already in Fresno, CA; he wants to do this so much that he approached me some weeks ago; he even has a good track record in fund raising. To cap it off, he expects to become available sometime in early 2004. So, during the next year, I am trying to build a $50,000 financial reserve so that when he is ready I can say, "come aboard."
The Abolitionists went beyond firebrands like Frederick Douglas. They recruited thousands of volunteers. So can we, but I need a partner. Please help me get ready to bring him on board.
Thank you for your past support,
Marshall Fritz, President
Alliance for the Separation of School and State
1071 N. Fulton Ave.
Fresno, CA 93728
Phone: (559) 499-1776
Fax: (559) 499-1703
To help Marshall and the Alliance for the Separation of School and State, please click here to access a "print-and-mail" support form (pdf file).
If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, and would like the same on your computer, click here.