I confess to being empathetic to Steve Olson’s views on the public school system in the US. I don’t profess to know the solution to the myriad problems related to public schooling–it’s just too far out of whack for me to consider. Here’s a cut from Steve:
When you read about the problems with American education, you usually read statistics about literacy and dropout rates. But those statistics don’t do the subject justice because the problem with American education is a human story. Every dropout is a human being, every illiterate teenager is an individual, every teen that commits suicide was somebody’s baby, and every kid that’s doing 20 to life is a real breathing person – full of potential.
People are too quick to criticize parents, teachers, administrators, and students. The failure of government education isn’t theirs alone. It’s every American’s fault because we continue to allow the unrestrained growth of government schooling. Haven’t we learned anything from our own experiences in government schools?
It’s very easy for people to bury their head in the sand and ‘let the administrators handle it’. I, for one, am of the opinion that the administrators are failing badly. Be that as it may, there are some places in the country where accountability is coming back in style.
The state of Texas is one of those. There, students have to pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exam in order to get a diploma, in addition to the requisite credits.
In Fort Worth, 600+ students failed the test, and are being denied the opportunity to graduate with their classmates. But many are protesting that “it’s not fair”. You look at the picture above, read the sign, and tell me it’s not fair. “Let are kids walk”?