I have watched the progression of our school system for 70 years and am deeply disturbed by it. I know that when some people read this they will think that I am just another old person ranting about the "good old days," but please bear with me.
For generations, our education ranked at the top in the world; now, we rank ninth in industrialized countries for our residents with a high school degree and seventh for college degrees. We are second only behind Switzerland in education spending, yet our schools insist that they need more money to educate our children. Yes, we have many non-English-speaking children, but so do other countries.
Our teachers were not our friends and neither were our parents, but we respected them and feared them in a good way. Our parents backed up the schools and had active roles in our education. We are so busy teaching about social issues that we no longer teach many of the basics. We put so much focus on college that we forget not all children want or need to go to college. We need more training for blue-collar jobs.