I reiterate: If you want to fix public schools, close private schools. All of them, k-12. Without exception. And forbid home-schooling, too.
Public schools, because they do not usually serve the wealthiest, most privileged students, the children of the wealthiest, most privileged parents, are viewed as "expendable." If the children of privilege were in the same schools as the rest of us, and had to put up with the decaying buildings, the authoritarian, test-centered curriculum, the overworked, disrespected, and underpayed teachers, the same dictatorial administrations...
--well, if the privileged kids had to go to those schools there wouldn't BE any of those conditions, bedause the wealthy parents wouldn't stand for it...Submit the wealthiest to the rigors the rest of us experience and conditions would soon change.
Many people berate the Murkin schools for 'failure.' But failure is a relative thing. The purpose of a system is what it does. If schools do what they are designed to do, if they fulfill their purpose, then they cannot be called 'failures.' And Murkin schools are unparalledly successful at what they do. The American system has not failed at all. Kozol noted almost 50 years ago that the school system is a coldly, murderously effective machine for sorting the useful from the fodder, whereby the Owners, by the administration of a series of tests, discover how--or if--you will be best able to serve them.
Your success in Murkin schools depends more on your zip code than on any test score you ever got. Far more than HALF of all "between-group" variances in standardized student achievement tests is statistically accounted for by ONE variable: the socia-economic status of the families.
American students who leave school early aren't typically "dropping out," though all the popular rhetorical constructions function to blame the victim, which is the most common advertizing/propagandistic trope in use in the media anywhere, today. They stop attending school, but they're being/have been PUSHED out, often for 'trouble-making,' social non-compliance, non-standardization. They're rejects, not quitters, usually...They won't/cannot conform, so they are excluded with murderous efficiency, often directly into prison, where they can be of the least trouble to the rentier class.
Shamwow says he wants to improve Murkin education, but if that were true, he wouldn't have named noted disciplinarian/militarist/corpoRatist lawyer Arne Duncan as EdSec. What he really intends is to further standardize it, make it MORE useful to the Owners, whose lackey and lick-spittle he daily reveals himself me and more to be. Shamwow's an advocate of charter schools, that anti-public school initiative popularized during the Raygun years by Chucker Finn, Bill Bennett, and a host of right-wing ideologues intent on dismantling universal USer educations