The Source Of Education Problems
"To err is human, but to really screw things up requires a design committee of bureaucrats"
The Public Education System was originally based on local control. School districts were small and responsive to the citizens who funded them. Curriculum, teacher evaluations, and administrative efficacy were determined by the people directly affected. U.S. education was the gold standard for the world and put men on the moon.
Today, the Alpine School District maintains 81 schools and 73,000 students. Our current set of standards was never discussed by the local school board before being adopted. State SAGE tests are being used to direct local districts in evaluating teachers. Schools are being graded as succeeding or failing, based on those same SAGE tests that we, the people, don't influence and can't even see. We are told U.S. education is falling behind the rest of the world.
So how did we get here? We individually and collectively accepted the system would take care of itself without our involvement and oversight. We like our children's teachers and figure that everything is fine. We wave as the kids get on the bus and only get concerned if a report card comes back lower than expected.
The myriad of details that go into running an education system were relinquished to experts and professionals. School board races became largely uncontested appointments of the district they were supposed to oversee. Campaigns became contests of name recognition instead of debates on issues and determination of who would best safeguard local control.
As we the people became complacent, the education bureaucracy persevered in directing education as they saw fit. For many people, it made sense that experts would have greater latitude in determining the direction of our schools. The result was a community which became increasingly less informed and involved. In exchange, we have a system more entrenched with insider decision making and mandates from far away, unelected parties, who stand to profit from those decisions.
There is no substituting for informed and involved citizens on any level of government, but especially public education. We can't fault the system on any level if the community has not availed itself of the system that still exists to provide the proper oversight and control.
Public education can still be a system of the people and for the people, we simply need to start acting that way.
Citizens committed to ensure public education
is a reflection of the local community which creates, funds, and supports its existence. We see the best outcomes of public education coming from the partnership of parent, child, and teacher. The goal is bottom up, locally controlled education supporting the
G E T I N V O L V E D
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ISSUES
Teaching to the test and problems with state SAGE tests.
How Common Core infringes on local control of education.
Why school boards become rubber stamps of the bureaucracy.