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.
Discouraging but not surprising stats about US education at Willisms. Take a look.
It's the same old story: spending does not correlate with results.
What does school spending correlate with? Teacher's union votes.
EDUCATION RESULTS ARE CULTURAL.
Math is too hard - can't the kids do something creative? To develop and express their special selves? And to have fun?
Abe Lincoln learned more in a one-room schoolhouse with a wood fire and a only a Bible to read and a teacher with a paddle than kids do today.
Not even air conditioning!
Most American kids want everything to be easy, and they want work to be nothing more than a short path to a second childhood, called "retirement."
I suppose the new way is just not the old Yankee view of life. Our material comfort and success is biting us in the behind: it is both a blessing and a curse. Perhaps, in time, this lazy approach to life will lead us back, against our will, to our true gritty selves.
From those I know in the teaching field I have learned that the problems they see the most often stem from a lack of discipline and the inability to punish or reward properly.
If your hands are tied for what you can do and no one else is going to show the children what needs to be done then what is there to do?
Children are given medication whether they have a problem or not. Parents are unwilling or unable to show their children what is acceptable and what is not. Schools are not allowed to do any of these either and are condemed for it.
I know that at my highschool, oh so very long ago, the funding was cut and we lost most of the classes. Before students could learn their choice of a foreign language, from four choices. After the cuts there was only part of a single year for spanish only. Before students could get advanced courses at college level for a variety of choices. Afterwards there was only one class, none advanced, they could not afford the teachers it would take to do the other classes. On and on.
Money is important. As is the ability to use it effectively. Plus some parents taking some responsibility and getting their kids interested and disciplined enough to handle it.