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.
Entrenched in a static, factory model of education, American public schools haven't changed much since the Industrial Revolution. "School, Inc." explores the 19th century origins of mass schooling, noting how the Prussian system of compulsory schooling that was ultimately adopted in the U.S. squeezed out other popular forms of education, and prevented ongoing innovation.
Why? Because teachers' unions and spectacular success of teachers and administrators in lobbying for more money and more control over the system. We are told all the time that any cutback in money would mean complete chaos for the education system. Any chance to innovate (school vouchers anyone?) would mean that more kids will be left without great education.
Hogwash. My kids were all in the best private school we could afford until 6th grade. Their experience in public school has been one dominated by teachers who don't know their jobs, run the classroom well or care about students.
If we are to get real reform, we need to give teachers an incentive to get better in those areas or lose their jobs. Any other approach is a waste of time and money.
The government school system has a fundamental conflict of interest. It is compulsory and tax-funded, so it has no reason to improve. Schools are usually provided with more money the more they fail, giving them no incentive to improve or provide a decent education.
Everyone has had good teachers and bad teachers. I have had teachers who excelled in teaching and let no student slough off. I have had teachers who controlled the classroom with an iron fist and everyone learned or else. I have had teachers who were a joy to attend their class and learning was fun. I have had teachers who really needed to find another job. In all of those cases 1948-1960 the principal in these schools knew everything about the students and the teachers and the grounds/property and everything. IMHO if we allowed each school to be run by the principal and to put the principal directly responsible to the parents/voters. Allow the principal to have total hire/fire control. That we would have better schools, better teachers and local control. But local control is 180 degrees from what the unions want. The further up the food chain they can negotiate the better for them and the worst for the parents/students. We could fix this easy, but we won't.
Government schools are a monopoly funded by you but run by them just as the VA is a government monopoly funded by you and run by them. At least the VA monopoly has had private competitors but you can bet the Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare monopoly will remove that option. All that is left is to make private healthcare illegal and private/homeschool illegal and the progs/socialist/communists will finally have what they dreamed of....total control.
Every effort is taken to ensure that children do not achieve independent thought. Any effort for a child to show independence or creative thought is suppressed outside of approved narrow measures. Sadly, most teachers in the system are so conditioned by it from their own schooling, they don't even know the evil they do.
In all areas of mixed nationality, the school is a political prize of the highest importance. It cannot be deprived of its political character as long as it remains a public and compulsory institution. There is, in fact, only one solution: the state, the government, the laws must not in any way concern themselves with schooling or education. Public funds must not be used for such purposes. The rearing and instruction of youth must be left entirely to parents and to private associations and institutions.
But even if we eliminate the spiritual coercion exercised by compulsory education, we should still be far from having done everything that is necessary in order to remove all the sources of friction between the nationalities living in polyglot territories. The school is one means of oppressing nationalities— perhaps the most dangerous, in our opinion— but it certainly is not the only means. Every interference on the part of the government in economic life can become a means of persecuting the members of nationalities speaking a language different from that of the ruling group. For this reason, in the interest of preserving peace, the activity of the government must be limited to the sphere in which it is, in the strictest sense of the word, indispensable.