I've been doing some more Facebook ranting:
In response to someone asking me if I think the Department of Education is good: " I think the Deptartment of Education could be a good thing with much reform. I think "No Child Left Behind" is a joke and should at the very least be reformed and preferably repealed. Standardized tests don't tell us how well a child is l...earning how to learn. One of my favorite books is by educator Alfie Kohn called "Unconditional Parenting." I highly recommend it. He has also written numerous books about how our education system is a disaster.
IMHO, our education system is a disaster because of too little federal involvement and too much state and local government control. The education of our nation's children is the responsibility of all citizens, not just parents. Here's why: Those children grow up and become adults. And they can move. So say a child is born into poverty in Mississippi and has a really shitty education because the school system gets most of its funding and regulation from property taxes, and those are really low in that area. So that child grows up and is functionally illiterate. Can find a decent paying job because of her poor education. So guess what? We end up having to pay her food stamps so she and her family don't starve, because we're a humane people.
That's one scenerio. Here's a worse one. Say someone lives in an area with shitty public education. People who are well educated tend to commit fewer violent crimes, and are just all-in-all better citizens and neighbors. Do we really want to allow areas with high poverty rates to educate their children so poorly that they turn to a life of crime rather than find a legitimate job?
I only have one child, but I'm happy to pay taxes that go toward educating all our nation's children. I wish more of our federal funds went to education. I want to live in a well educated society, not one where only wealthy people can afford to give their children a decent education.