America has tried everything to improve its educational system, and it has failed. Everything.
Except what works best.
We have thrown money at the problem, to no avail. Our education spending is among the highest in the world, but test scores still lag behind other industrialized nations. Says the University of Southern California: “The U.S. is the clear leader in total annual spending, but ranks ninth in science performance and 10th in math.”
Andrew J. Coulson, in a 2009 report for the Cato Institute in Washington, writes ...
We’ve also tried leveling the full weight and strength of the leviathan United States bureaucracy against the problem: The No Child Left Behind Act — this nation’s most sweeping education reform in several generations — has been an unprecedented reach of the federal government down into local schools. Yet, again, to little or no gain.
And perhaps, even, to our detriment: Arne Duncan, President Obama’s secretary of education, candidly noted that No Child Left Behind “inadvertently encourages states to lower” learning standards, in order to be in “compliance.” The law has “led to a dumbing down of standards, and it’s led to a narrowing of curriculum,” he told The Hill last year. ...
True school choice would allow parents to shop for the best schools. That would put instant pressure on school officials to perform at a higher level. At the same time, most schools could, and should, be empowered to toss non-performing, non-complying, disruptive students out on their stumps. There can always be alternative schools for them. That would empower schools to set and enforce strict guidelines for entry — putting instant pressure on parents and students to perform at a higher level.
In addition, we believe — as presidential candidate Mitt Romney said recently — that school choice is actually “the civil rights issue of our time.” ...
We Googled the phrase “competition makes you better.” We instantly found numerous examples of sports figures saying it.
When is academia going to learn it?
May 25, The Augusta Chronicle