Ed Nagel, father of 4, grandfather of 8, is a navy veteran who is an author and nationwide speaker on alternative education. Among the first 341 signers of the
Proclamation for the Separation of School and State, Nagel was designated a
"School Sakharov" at SEPCON '95 (SEParation of School and State CONference)
in DC, where he spoke on his experiences fighting for educational choices:
first as a teacher from within government schools, but most successfully in
the public arena outside them.
As principal of the Santa Fe Community School (www.sfcs-homestudy.org), Nagel initiated a suit in 1972 against the NM Board of Education that won a favorable unanimous State Supreme Court decision.
Nagel founded and currently serves as the CEO of the National Association for the Legal Support of Alternative Schools, through which he initiated the modern homeschooling movement, a direction which originally induced the IRS to deny NALSAS tax exemption. As NALSAS Coordinator, Nagel sued the IRS, and he won a decision in US Tax Court (NALSAS v. IRS, 71 T.C. No.11, 1978) covered by the WALL STREET JOURNAL in a front-page article headlined: "IRS Arguments Flunked Out of Court."
Ed Nagel, former Chair and National Office Manager of the National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools(NCACS - www.ncacs.org), is also the author of CHEEZ! Uncle Sam!.This controversial book on alternative education, tells the TRUE story of how a small group of mostly low-income families adopted an educational pedagogy based on "free choice", and then fought against incredible governmental interference finally to win legal recognition of their right to teach their own children in accordance with their sincerely-held beliefs.
Referring to CHEEZ!, education author John Holt wrote: " 'I personally don't believe any more in schools for children, even 'free' schools. To people who hate what school is doing to their children, I say, 'Never mind trying to change the school, or start a new one; just take the kids out altogether.' I have never seen and could not have imagined a stronger argument for this position than this book (CHEEZ!)' ".
In 1976, as an alternative even to his own alternative school, Nagel advocated homeschooling in his article "HOW TO AVOID COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE AT PUBLIC SCHOOL", published in a national education magazine, the New Schools Exchange.
In 1979, another article by Nagel, "A School Without A School (Home Study Thru SFCS)", was published in the national magazine, MOTHERING, by which short time SFCS had enrolled over 100 students nationwide, indicating a demand that was to grow into the homeschooling movement that today meets the needs of well over a million families, all of whom can now legally "school" their children at home.