75% of public school students will not be prepared for college or for a career. See the following: http://tinyurl.com/dxgx954. Sadly, most public schools are handicapped by their union’s fight for the status quo to maintain their power and influence. Reform resistance is also perpetrated by the school administration’s bloated bureaucracy.
The good and exceptional teachers, and there are many, get caught up in a maze of “that’s not the way we do it here” mentality. Public school reform is moving at glacial speed and is being fought at every turn by the unions and school establishment. Since the unions contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to politicians, you can understand why reform is slow and will not be in time to make a difference for current students.
The federal government is trying, in their politically constrained way (i,e, do not rock the boat of political contributions), to bring a level playing field to public schools through common standards, common curricula, and other guidance. This program is called Common Core, but it does little to address the problem’s root causes of the unions and bloated school bureaucracies. Critics are pointing out that the Common Core Program is laced with hate America and pro Marxist rhetoric. See http://tinyurl.com/cvrugbg and http://tinyurl.com/c9k2hmt.
Charter Schools and Choice of Local Public Schools
Legislation has added limited options to failing public schools for lower and middle-income families. See http://www.edreform.com/issues/choice-ch
Charter schools are making a difference (many but not all). However, they are few in number, and generally use a lottery system to gain admission as many are oversubscribed. Check your area for availability http://tinyurl.com/78oyrqd and rankings. Advantages of charters schools is they are funded the same as public schools and are essentially free. They are also free of the rules and bureaucracies of public schools and most are not represented by unions. These are all significant advantages over failing public schools. Coming from the family of public schools they are subject to state and federal government edicts and policies that can be of controversial and non-traditional values. Sex education, politically correct awareness, sensitivity training, anti-American and Marxist references are examples.
Private and Parochial Schools
The reasons for children attending private boarding or private day schools are many fold. See these articles for a summary of many reasons for attending if you can afford them. http://tinyurl.com/q9fpq3 and http://tinyurl.com/ykszbsw. The two significant disadvantages are cost and location. Tuition and fees plus cost of transportation or boarding are daunting. Parochial/religious schools are generally less costly than private schools and some may offer courses in religion. Public schools of course can not offer anything related to religion.
This is an area that is quickly gaining traction and offers quality options for children of all ages. It involves a computer and the Internet. I think this area holds the most promise for those than can not afford a private school education. Charter schools can vary widely in quality and can be an excellent option for those in reasonably close proximity to a quality school. However the vast majority do not have this as a practical option. Online learning is an area I plan to review in much more detail in subsequent postings.
- Chart of the day: Administrative bloat in US public schools (aei-ideas.org)
- Top teachers union apologist sends her children to a private school! (eagnews.org)
- Time to Redefine Public Education (commentarymagazine.com)
- Study Reveals U.S. Schools Used To Do More With Less (personalliberty.com)
- Chicago Public Schools to Start Sex Education in Kindergarten (grumpyelder.com)