Education in this country is broken: everyone completely gets this. There is not one person who feels that the public education system is working. But nothing will ever change or get better, because even though there are 5 constituents which make up the educational system:
The last two will always attempt to maintain the status quo, and therefore the system will never change. It’s funny how the least important players in the this game are the ones who hold the most power, and are also the ones least affected by the system.
The students are the direct benefactors of a quality education. A quality education, fair and balanced, provides students with all of the tools required in order to survive and yes, compete, in this world. You think students in other countries stop scoring soccer games because the students feel bad? No.
The parents pay for this education. In return they get a shoddy product, and are forced to take it. In some states, it is actually illegal to homeschool your children, and in most others, parents cannot afford to pay their taxes AND send their children to private schools that work.
The teachers, if you ask me, are basically good, they do what they can with the resources that they are given.
These three players are desperate to change the game. They have seen the quality of education in this country plummet as the costs have skyrocketed. They know that there is no correlation between money spent and quality of education.
Unfortunately, the last two players in this game like the rules exactly the way they are: unions have a sweet deal – in concert with the tax stealing government, these two thieves and low lifes have stolen billions of dollars and many educations from the first three players.
Vouchers have universal appeal for the first 3 players: they allow the best schools to stay open, the best teachers to gravitate to them, and the poor schools to close and the poor teachers to leave the field. Vouchers initiate competition, the thing which drives people to be better than they were. But since vouchers only have negative effects for the other 2 players, they are forbidden.
There is no way out of this: unless we see a massive, immediate change in the system, billions more dollars will be spent, on ever worsening education, and the only ones who will benefit will be those last two players.
So I only see one solution: cut them out. How can we cut out the unions and the government? Start as many new private schools as we can. Drive the kids out of the public schools into private schools. Create a second private school system, a shadow school system if you will. Draw students to it by providing a better product.
How do we do this without massive amounts of government money? Simple. Technology, the free market, and innovation. You only have to look at places like Khan Academy to see the future. Imagine thousands of online schools, finally disrupting this atherosclerosis ridden system.
Now is the time. Just like digital disrupted both the music and book industry, the time is now to jump into disrupting education. In future posts, I’ll talk more about how we can do this.