Education

Fixing America's Poorly Functioning Public School Systems Might Require a Bulldozer

It's time for some out-of-box thinking about school reform. What if we let the market do more work and relied on the state for less?

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Do you ever get the sense that fixing our nation's ill-functioning public-education system is like trying to retrofit a belching, century-old coal-fired power plant into a modern, clean-energy facility? Moving forward sometimes starts with a bulldozer—and the realization that one occasionally needs to start from scratch.

I've been writing about education reform since the beginning of my journalism career and nothing ever really changes. Policymakers wrestle with the same critical concerns today—students who are ill-prepared for a modern workforce, low graduation rates, a dumbed-down curriculum, and persistent inequities—that they did 30 years ago.

Education officials celebrate the errant bright spot. We hear about upticks in college acceptance rates. Bad news often follows, however, such as the growing need for college-level remedial courses. Educators always lament a lack of funding, even as spending levels soar.

More than 40 percent of the state's general fund budget goes to K-14 education, and an election cycle doesn't pass without a host of school bonds. Yet, if we're being honest with ourselves, we realize that nothing gets any better. School districts use the new funds to build fancy facilities, give raises to their unionized workers and hire legions of new administrators.

It's still nearly impossible to fire an incompetent teacher, or to reward the ones who are doing great. Even noteworthy reforms, such as California's system of charter schools, only nibble around the edges. And it was only a matter of time before special interest groups helped elect a governor who has rolled back that alternative system whose relative success has proved embarrassing to the status quo.

One recent news story caught my eye. "California school districts, already struggling to find enough teachers for classrooms, are facing a substitute shortage so severe that officials at smaller districts fear temporary school closures," reported EdSource. Add that to the list of other travesties, such as districts that could never master the basics of distance learning and unions that fought re-openings.

There are few things as important as educating our children, yet, as a society, we don't act that way. We certainly don't place strict demands on the extra spending. We complain if our latest high-tech gadget feature doesn't work as promised, but tolerate a public-school system that was built at a time when there were no telephones, automobiles, or radios.

The Southern California News Group Editorial Board, of which I'm a member, recently met with some Orange County CEOs who are admirably trying to boost career opportunities for the majority of students who are not going to attend a university. That problem is acute. I've seen it in my life—young people who graduate high school but have no marketable skills, then spend their years in low-paying, unsatisfying work.

It reminds me of the refrain in Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues: "Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift." These days, they put you in a little cubicle, in a fast-food restaurant, or sign you up for the ever-expanding number of state welfare benefits—itself a testament to our failing education system.

Maybe the problem is more fundamental. Even parents of children who are under-educated daily would be aghast at what I'm proposing—namely the separation of school and state. We instead blithely accept the status quo and keep our educational debates narrowly focused on money, training, legislation, and modest reforms. I hold no illusions. The public school establishment is powerful.

But sometimes it's worth engaging in a thought experiment, even if it has a ballpark-zero chance of ever happening. What if we actually let the market work? Before you get angry, think about an analogy that I often use. Food is even more important than education. Imagine if we distributed groceries the way that we distribute learning.

You could only shop at grocery stores in your district. The people who run them might not be competent, but they were placed there with the support of the employees who work at the store. If you don't like the selection or atmosphere, you could move to a district with a better store—or spend your time electing new managers.

This would be a crazy way to provide food to hungry people, but it's no crazier than the way we provide education to learning-hungry students. In a market-based education system, we'd have every manner of offering, ranging from the equivalent of Whole Foods to Winco. Poor people couldn't fare any worse than they do under our supposedly egalitarian system.

The state could provide subsidies to those who can't afford it at a fraction of the cost of the current system, but at least we'd have a system built around the key principle that assures the provision of other quality goods and services: competition. Again, this is just a thought experiment. But it's more defensible than allowing the current outdated model to belch along for another three decades.

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

NEXT: Review: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

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  1. As Reason.com commenter chemjeff has repeatedly explained, the most effective way to improve American public schools is to introduce mandatory critical race theory classes.

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    1. Skin color is the most important thing of all.

      1. That was literally the #1 lesson my professors taught me.

        #OnlyRacistsTryToBeColorblind

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  2. Good luck fixing the stupid especially if you think turning children over to religious cults for their education is the solution.

    1. Should we take it from your comment that you’ll be taking over from RAK as the resident anti-religious bigot?

      While it is true that there are a few bad religious schools out there, it is undeniably true that there are some very, very bad public schools out there. At least the private schools have a smidgen of incentive to get better.

      If you don’t like the curriculum of a particular religious school, don’t send your kid there. That seems to me like a problem solved. Stop whining about how other people spend their own money.

      1. “Stop whining about how other people spend their own money.”

        Sell your souls to the [WE] foundation; because you don’t own your money, the [WE] foundation does!

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      2. I assumed he was talking about public teacher’s unions. Was he not?

      3. Let’s improve schools. Conflating superstition with reason, dogma with history, and ignorance with education is no way to do that. Superstition-based education is not good education, at least not in the eyes of competent adults.

        Carry on, clingers. Your betters will let you know how long and how far.

        1. Whenever I read one of your gross comments, I can’t help but think
          of baron harkonen.

    2. This is absolutely true. Unfortunately, for a significant portion of the population, they don’t realize that Marxism wrapped in a mantle of environmental or social justice is a religion. Our first step together should be helping them see that.

      1. Look, I realize that beliefs take many forms. We need to guard against all of it and teach children to think critically.

        1. So you would be the counter example, the leftist who cannot think critically, or even think.

        2. “We” don’t need to do anything. You educate your kids. I’ll educate mine.

      2. Try telling a devoted christian Christ doesn’t exist.

        Believing isn’t really the root of the problem; Using Gov-Guns to enforce that religion is.

        1. A True Christian™ has sold his goods, given the proceeds to the poor and followed Jesus. There is no more reason to believe one of those exists now than there is reason to suppose the speaker existed then. The ex-post-facto mythical figure was invented a century AFTER supposedly breathing resurrection into Lazarus’ decomposing cadaver. No evidence exists, or the benighted urge it forward for scientific analysis. See “Spiked” and “The Darkening Age”

          1. The ex-post-facto mythical figure was invented a century AFTER supposedly breathing resurrection into Lazarus’ decomposing cadaver.

            This is not true. The historical Jesus is referenced by the Roman historian Josephus, and the first writings of Paul are from about 35 years after Jesus’ death, and detail (particularly in Galatians) his meetings with Peter and James the Brother of Jesus in Jerusalem. The latest of the canonical gospels was written probably about sixty years after Jesus’ death, and the latest book of the New Testament, the Revelation, was written about eighty years after his death.

            There are also some events and some sayings that are common to accounts of his life that clearly lack a common source other than multiple oral accounts of the same figure.

            Which is not to say that everything, or even a majority, of what the Bible says about Jesus is true, but to assert that Jesus is 100% fiction is just ignorant, and doesn’t make the point you think it does.

    3. Weird how those religious schools perform so much better on state tests than the “liberal/state religious” public schools.

      1. Weird how the best terrorists are religious.

        1. From a Gun enforced religious entity. Exactly like the Democrats do.

        2. It’s almost like terrorists are devoted to a cause, or something.

          1. “We’re just helping people” — Said the gun-toting Nazi-Regime.
            “It’s for their own good” — Said the Democratic Gov-Gun worshipper..

    4. Well we see that you turned out pretty shitty from public schools, but I think that would have happened with you no matter where you went, lard of shitstain.

      1. You don’t know shit about me mfer. I grew up surrounded by religion. I learned about porn in Sunday school. I said my prayers every night and in those prayers asked god to bless practically everyone I knew every night. It’s my strong moral code that eventually turned me against religion.

        1. What’s your moral code? To promote slavery of others because your ‘code’ is so narcissistic-ly great?

        2. Unfortunately rather than learning to think critically and shun “religion” which has you accept counterfactual beliefs on faith, you just swapped yours out for another religion.

          You act like you up and left the game, but you just put on a different jersey.

          Wokeism + THE SCIENCE + neomarxist climatism is the new religion designed for lefties who cant critically think. Looks like you fit right in.

        3. this is the least surprising admission i’ve seen in this board and that includes buttplugs pedophilia

    5. I was lead engineer of a group of young engineers. I had 5x the experience of them combined. All but 1 of the 4 had gone to private religious schools. I had gone to a private religious school until 9th grade. The one who went to public school grew up in the rural Midwest on a farm. Hmm. The only decent Stem graduates out there are from private schools. Just an anecdote but my value as an engineer keeps going up when the boss realizes the alternative from public schools. I’m just a Midwest redneck so what do I know.

  3. Fixing America’s Poorly Functioning Public School Systems Might Require a Bulldozer

    Without reading the article, I’m going to assume the bulldozer is for digging trenches for the mass graves for anybody that’s ever referred to themselves as an “educator” or worked in a school as something other than a teacher.

    1. I guess I should exempt janitors and cafeteria workers, but if you work in education and your job involves sitting in an office rather than a classroom, sorry, but you’re going to have to get in the trench.

      1. I chuckled, and wish to present you with a prize of 5 internets

  4. Even noteworthy reforms, such as California’s system of charter schools, only nibble around the edges.

    If CA has a model of anything, it is only for CA. No one else cares or should care or should assume that anything from CA is worth a damn.

    We instead blithely accept the status quo and keep our educational debates narrowly focused on money, training, legislation, and modest reforms. I hold no illusions. The public school establishment is powerful. But sometimes it’s worth engaging in a thought experiment, even if it has a ballpark-zero chance of ever happening.

    It is never worth even a thought experiment if something has a ballpark-zero chance of happening. And if this sort of reform has a ballpark-zero chance of happening, then maybe the focus should be on improving the accountability of self-governance since that is what would need to happen anyway for the reform to happen. Fatalism about self-governance is nothing but acceptance of corruption and cronyism in the status quo.

    1. “Self governance”, except mandatory vaccination, amirite?

    2. “It is never worth even a thought experiment if something has a ballpark-zero chance of happening.”
      Complete crap. By that theory, that crazy Rosa bitch should have just sat at the back of the bus like she was told. After all, at the time, there was ballpark-zero chance of it changing anything.

      Institutions and institutional thinking do not like change… until it does. Anytime there is a bad system in place, it warrants poking around the edges and probing at the cracks. It may seem like a fruitless endeavor at the time, but you never know when a small idea with take hold to grow up and turn into real reform and change.

      1. Rosa Parks was just one in a line of people (Irene Morgan, Sarah Keys, Claudette Colvin, etc) who was willing to be arrested. The risk for them was that they would be murdered not that they would fail to achieve some legal progress in whittling down Plessy v Ferguson. Maybe you can talk about the futility of creating the NAACP in 1909 to counter Jim Crow – but I suspect this is all just the usual libertarian bullshit.

        Ironic that school choice is being framed with Rosa Parks as a putative hero. Since Friedman’s initial article about school choice – or public financing and private operation – was published in 1955. The article specifically mentions Southern attempts to eliminate all public schools and figure out a way to create/fund private segregation academies in order to undermine Brown v Board. Where indeed the fatalism about self-governance intersects with implicit support for cronies and Jim Crow.

      2. Many states’ constitutions mandate that they provide schooling. So it’s going to at least require amending the constitutions of many states, maybe most.

  5. “give raises to their unionized workers and hire legions of new administrators.”

    Now there’s your problem. You won’t be able to fix anything else until you get rid of the unions and their influence on politicians.

    1. If I could make one change in history it would be to get public sector unions outlawed as we came out of WWII. I mean, people would be allowed to organize all they wanted, but I would make it illegal for government entities to negotiate with them, or to compel employees to join them as a condition of work.

      1. That extreme is not necessary. Just require that all public sector union contracts be approved by the actual ‘management’ that pays; the taxpayers.

        1. Given how often voters approve bonds for schools, I don’t think it would help. The Teachers Union is always going to be able to rally the money for a targeted proposition that benefits them, whereas there is no natural coalition of tax payers already assembled to stop these initiatives.

  6. “There are few things as important as educating our children, yet, as a society, we don’t act that way.”

    Of course not. As a society we are much more content to yell at each other about (say) mask mandates than to really demand accountability from the people cashing our checks.

    In an early episode of the Simpsons, Bart orchestrates a Teacher strike by constantly playing the Teachers and Principal Skinner against one another. Any time the two factions are starting to get a little restless, he starts a whisper campaign that has them enraged at one another and dug in.

    Once you take your red pill, you see this on display all over the world. This was ultimately what kept us in the Middle East. You have all these factions, and all it takes is one asshole with a suicide vest to scuttle months of talks. And of course, right when Biden’s foreign policy started showing cracks, he immediately changed the subject to a wedge issue with a Vaccine Mandate.

    At first, I thought the Los Angeles Teachers Union was insane when they released their Back to School Manifesto demanding shit like Racial Justice before teachers world work again. But in fact it was a stroke of genius:

    Johnny LA: Man my kids need to get back to school!
    Joe LA: Yeah man, my kids got to go back to school!
    Union Rep: We need CRT in our schools!
    Johnny LA: Wait wut?! What the hell are you talking about?
    Union Rep: Johnny, why do you hate black people?
    Joe LA: Yeah man, why do you hate black people?
    Johnny LA: I don’t hate black people!
    Joe LA: Yes you do!
    Johnny LA: CRT IS BS!
    Joe LA: IS NOT!

    Union Rep: *cashes check and pops popcorn*

    1. “As a society we are much more content to yell at each other about (say)” … everything.

      … Because in a *Power*-Mad world that has managed to wrap everything up in Gov-Gun-Forces (i.e. dictation) and that champions [WE] mob Nazi-Democracy over USA principles — that’s about all anyone can do is ask for a ‘blessing’ from the Gov-Gods.

      This is not the USA anymore it’s a Nazi-Regime. The USA was a Constitutional Union of Republican States that was principled on Individual Liberty and Justice. Every ignored the Supreme Law (definition of the USA) and now; it’s the Democratic-Nazi-Regime.

  7. I’ll throw in the libertarian viewpoint: government should not force people to attend schools, and government should not force people to fund schools.

    1. … And by *force* we mean threatening them with Gov-Guns. It’s just not a correct place to be using GUNS…

      1. The difference between Aggressive Gun usage and Defensive.

    2. Strange how that happened, but it did. From universal education, a wonderful perk providing literacy to the masses, to “you’re required to be here” under threat of law.

      You’re right. This is a real libertarian view.

      And, considering how often people here might say “Pull your kids out, homeschool!” they don’t get a refund on their property taxes if their kids aren’t in school. Nor do I, and I have no children, and think our schools are pretty terrible even beyond the indoctrination aspect.

      You want your kid in the school? Pay for it, and choose the school that suits your child and your idea of what’s good.

  8. Want to fix the public school system? Outlaw the Teachers’ Unions. They are demonstrably only different from a criminal conspiracy to defraud the public in that they are supported (and support) the Progressive establishment.

  9. How much money has been spent, just by the federal government, on education over the past several decades? And what do we have to show for it?

    Nonetheless, hundreds of billions more are going to be funneled into it in the coming year, so that should work, right? Because all I ever hear from the education system from teacher’s aids to the DOE to the AFT is that they just do not get enough money.

    1. ..As someone else’s stated.
      Government is the only entity that costs more the worse it preforms.

  10. We live in a country where the IRS gets to root around in your bank accounts looking for “fraud” or “tax avoidance”. Cops pull you over claiming you didn’t wear your seat belt, while looking for cash or drugs. The military hasn’t won a war since 1945 but get trillions to fail. The NSA and CIA snoop on civilians and through big tech collusion. The Dept of Education holds kangaroo courts without due process, and can send a swat team to your house for unpaid student loans. The left routinely cheers to reeducate, isolate, or exterminate their political enemies and anyone who doesn’t nod their head vigorously at every leftist shifting sand thought.

    They get this way because of brain dead indoctrination in public schools.

  11. Don’t fix it, shut it down. Close all the public schools, sell all of the buildings and land, end the school property taxes and return all the funds to the taxpayers so they can afford high speed internet and a good PC for high quality distance learning.

    If it saves even one child or one teacher from catching COVID, who could argue with that?

  12. Children do better in school when their parents care and are engaged in the process. And nothing spurs engagement more than charging them tuition. So many people complain that poor people couldn’t afford education in a free market system that I am sure a sizable charitable fund could be established for them.

    It’s good to see that Greenhut is still a little bit libertarian, when the issue doesn’t involve Trump.

    1. So many people complain that poor people couldn’t afford education in a free market system

      It’s a common claim. And completely untrue.

      It’s very common here in the bay area for very low income families to have their kids in private school. Some are better than others, but all are better than public school.

      Public school price per student is almost double that for private school, on average, in california. If you shop around, or are poor and get a discount, the price is even lower. I know a family had their kids in private school for 1500/year.

      This is in an environment where the FREE option from government is competing. In a truly free market for education, options would be better AND cheaper. We all know it.

  13. I don’t believe it is the institutions that are solely at issue here. I believe this issue starts much closer to the core and I cannot figure out what exactly we are trying to accomplish with “education” to begin with.

    From what I can gather, the prevailing philosophy seems to be: “You (the Gov.) are babysitting my kids for the better part of a decade. While you have ’em, might as well learn ’em some stuff!”

    My opinion: The whole education curriculum should be scrapped and rebuilt from K-12 with a focus on the taxpayer’s “Lifetime ROI” for each student. Might sound a bit cold, but if you did this, just think of the number of kids who wouldn’t have to waste their time suffering through reading about the best of times and the worst of times.

    The developmental learning is something that is being played with and experimented on quite a bit as educational researchers are always looking for better ways to focus young kids, introduce tech, and increase retention.

    Once you start to get into older ​kids, it begins to look a lot more institutionalized and most of the focus seems to be about “how” to teach them (e.g. tech, new math, etc.) and not enough focus is being put on the “why” of what we teach them.

    Every CLASS, especially at the higher grade levels, should need to justify itself with the following criteria:
    Are you preparing for college?
    Are you preparing for the workforce?
    Are you necessary to be a better [citizen/taxpay/member of society]?

    See how many classes can stand up to those questions.

    Then, better divide classes into real word use:
    Trig & Calc for college prep.
    Shop math and practical applied physics for trade prep.
    Legalese for every adult with an IQ over 70 or so.

    Wouldn’t that be nice… every single person who ever rents/buys a home, gets a car, gets a cell phone, uses a computer, etc. is subject to all sorts of contracts and documents written in legalese.
    Our lives are surrounded, and to a large extent governed, by contracts. Might be nice to teach the kids how to read and understand them.

    The other thing to question is K-12. The K side as the starting point makes since, but why 12 exactly? Does a kid going to college, one going into a skilled trade, one going into civil service (e.g. military), and one going to work in an unskilled trade all need the same duration of school learning? Having this stringent number is another issue which should be discussed.

    1. “Then, better divide classes into real word use:
      Trig & Calc for college prep.
      Shop math and practical applied physics for trade prep.”

      You just described high school in the sixties.

  14. End the education industrial complex. Parents will then have complete control over which curriculum their kids are taught. And because they will be paying the cost themselves they will have motivation to ensure it is money well spent.

  15. CHOICE……
    The best possible solution for every human is CHOICES..

    Not being dictated by someone with Gov-Guns you don’t even know and who doesn’t know you and has no liable *interest* in you. People forgot what the purpose of government was a long time ago in the USA.

  16. Get rid of public schools entirely. Remove all government involvement in education. Completely privatize the education system top to bottom.

    Problems all solved.

  17. “Policymakers wrestle with the same critical concerns today—students who are ill-prepared for a modern workforce, low graduation rates, a dumbed-down curriculum, and persistent inequities—that they did 30 years ago.”

    Thirty years? The first “bone-head” English courses were started at Stanford University (in 1906, IIRC), as a “temporary measure” until the High Schools did a better job at teaching students to read and write.

    That is 116 years of failing public schools. So, like, how much longer?

  18. Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had
    an 8th grade education?

    This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It
    was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley
    Genealogical Society
    And Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

    8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS – 1895

    Grammar ( T ime, one hour)
    1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
    2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
    3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
    4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of
    ‘lie,”play,’ and ‘run.’
    5. Define case; illustrate each case.
    6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
    7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you
    understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

    Arithmetic ( T ime,1 hour 15 minutes)
    1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
    2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels
    of wheat will it hold?
    3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel,
    deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
    4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000.. What is the necessary levy to
    carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for
    incidentals?
    5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
    6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per
    metre?
    8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
    9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which
    is 640 rods?
    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt

    U.S. History ( T ime, 45 minutes)
    1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
    2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
    3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
    4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
    5. T ell what you can of the history of Kansas
    6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn,
    and Howe?
    8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849,
    1865.

    Orthography ( T ime, one hour)
    [Do we even know what this is??]
    1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography,
    etymology, syllabication
    2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals,
    diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
    4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u.’ (HUH?)
    5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions
    under each rule.
    6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
    7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi,
    dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
    8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the
    sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise,
    blood, fare, last.
    9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain,
    feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by
    use of diacritical marks
    And by syllabication.

    Geography ( T ime, one hour)
    1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
    2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
    3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
    4. Describe the mountains of North America
    5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba ,
    Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco
    6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the
    republics of Europe and give the capital of each..
    8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
    9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the
    sources of rivers.
    10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

    Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.

    Gives the saying ‘he only had an 8th grade education’ a whole new meaning,
    doesn’t it?!

    No wonder they dropped out after 8th grade. They already knew more than they
    needed to know!

    No, I don’t have the answers! And I don’t think I ever did!

    Have fun with this…pass it on!!!

    1. +++

  19. The Governor of Oregon recently signed a bill that would eliminate the requirement of students to be able to pass math and science tests, among others in order to graduate. So what does this mean? This next generation in Oregon will be as dumbed down and easily brainwashed into accepting any and all liberal progressive ideas.
    America’s public education has slipped to such low levels, that students cannot compete with other countries such as China and European nations in the STEM fields.
    The object of public education is not enlightenment nor education but to turn out the same dumbed down and dull witted citizenry who can easily be manipulated and controlled. It is not about thinking for ones self, it does not encourage children to ask questions, therefore we have a large portion of the population who are easily controlled, who ask no questions and can be manipulated by sociopath politicians and media presstitutes.
    As Tom Woods often states, Public schools should be sued for malpractice.” I heartily concur.

  20. Choose reason. Every time.

    Choose reason. Especially over sacred ignorance, dogmatic intolerance, childish superstition, and backwater religious schooling.

    Choose reason. Most especially if you are older than 12 or so. By then, childhood indoctrination fades as excuse for gullibility, ignorance, bigotry, backwardness, and more bigotry, even in the most desolate, can’t-keep-up backwater you can find.

    Choose reason. Every time. And education, modernity, tolerance, science, freedom, inclusiveness, and progress. Reject ignorance, superstition, bigotry, backwardness, insularity, authoritarianism, and pining for good old days that never existed — not 75 years ago, not 175 years ago, not 2,000 years ago.

    Choose reason. Every time. Be an adult.

    Or, at least, please try.

    Thank you.

    1. I’d refer you to that Kansas 8th grade test.

    2. You are really ignorant of what a complete education entails. Here is Noah Webster’s definition of education. Take serious note of the role of Biblical teachings!!!

      EDUCA’TION, noun [Latin educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

      http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/education

    3. RAK: I have yet to see you choose reason on _any_ subject.

  21. America’s public education has slipped to such low levels, that students cannot compete with other countries such as China and European nations in the STEM fields.

    Learn How To Play Teen Patti

  22. No bulldozers, there is a better way.
    Allow any tax payer to claim a Tuition Tax Credit (dollar-for-dollar) on their federal taxes, up to the amount of their tax liability.

    1) For any child, not just your own children
    2) Tuition, books, supplies, transportation, uniforms, lunch.
    3) Any non government school of your choice
    4) Dollar amount for home schooling should be set
    5) You pay the school, they give you a receipt
    6) Some top limit per child, $5k, $10k, ???
    7) Allow partial “scholarships” – If my total tax liability is $3k I can give the school $3k and they bundle contributions for one kid.
    8) If I owe $20k on my federal taxes I could offer two $10k scholarships or four $5k scholarships.
    9) The government is not handing out money. We are.

  23. 1. Get the homosexuals and gender dsysphoric out of the school system altogether.
    2. Get the social justice warriors out of the classroom.
    3. Get any and every teacher “offended” by the American flag or “one nation under GOD” out of the classroom.
    4. Root the Marxists/Socialists out of our institutions of higher learning.

    1. And start recalling the libtards on the school board who defend & let the things I mentioned in items 1-4 take place to begin with. Replace these trash with conservatives who love God and country.

  24. The last thing we need is the “market” to be further involved in education. We already have a situation where those who are able to get the best education are those who have the most money to pay for it. What we need instead is to let the educators run the system…and get the politicians and ignoramuses out of it. Yes, there are ugly chapters in our history…and the students need to be educated about them, not hidden from them. WE don’t need School Boards run by “conservatives who love God and country.” We need schools run by professional educators, who are willing and able to teach our children factual information, how to think and how to resolve problems.

    1. Letting the educators run the system is comparable to allowing the military to govern the populous. Civilian control is the mainstay for a democracy, as is LOCAL citizen control over education. Abolish the Department of Education, State Boards of Education, and let the local ELECTED return to control over the local schools. This, with a system of transferable vouchers would improve education results a thousand fold.

  25. Education, like anything else, is a service. Unlike other services, we pay for it whether we use or like it ourselves. We need real competition. The first problem is it is a government run monopoly. There is absolutely no incentive to provide a good service for a reasonable price. The second problem is teacher unions. Despite their rhetoric, their only objective is more money and positions, and less actual work, for their members. Thanks to the lack of ‘right to work’ states, they are also a monopoly. The easy solution? Ban teachers’ unions in public schools.

  26. “Education officials celebrate the errant bright spot. We hear about upticks in college acceptance rates.”

    Wait, what? All this means is that there are fewer applicants, mainly due to demographic shifts. Not something for educrats to celebrate.

  27. My problem with letting parents use tax money to pick a school is the separation of church and state. If you use a tax-funded subsidy at a Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, or other parochial school, does that present a Constitutional question?

    I know a lot of parochial school graduates. They often say that parochial schools are far superior to inner city schools. But, suburban public schools are superior, with honors and AP classes and a wider array of subjects. My high school offered Italian, Russian, and Latin. Russian has been replaced by Chinese. None of the nearby Catholic high schools offer more than the basic three foreign languages. My high school also offered aviation tech. One classmate of mine who took the program is an aviation lawyer. Another is a 737 captain.

    Another classmate of mine took the cooking curriculum. He is now the general manager of a Hyatt hotel.

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