We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution reserves to the states all powers not delegated to the federal government. For most of our nation’s history, education was considered preeminent among those reserved powers, and for good reason. Teaching and learning are quintessentially local activities—the thought never would have occurred to our founders that a bureaucrat in Washington is more capable than parents or teachers of creating an educational plan appropriate for an individual child.
Oh yes, abolish it! it's done too much damage. The cost of a college education might even have been reasonable if it didn't exist. But education will not improve until Departments of Education in colleges and universities are abolished and teachers have to major in a subject, rather than in eduction.
The Elephant's Child
Locally directed education has not existed for some time. Curricula are remarkably similar nationwide and I think if you look carefully, you'll see that national standards have essentially been set by the NEA. Is that better than national standards set by the Education Department?