isn't it obvious what the problem is? the education our children are getting is substandard, especially when compared to numerous other countries.
People state this as if it's obvious, but if you look at the data broken down by, say, ethnicity, you find that the education white Americans get is top-flight compared to other first-world countries, and what blacks and Latinos get is substandard. This is true even when you adjust for income levels.
we have a system where kids only go to school 6 hours a day, 1 of which is physical education and one of which is recess/lunch time. that leaves only 4 hours of actual class time instruction. to top that off, they don't go to school for 2 or 3 weeks during the winter and 3 months during the summer because they need some sort of break. for what?
Intriguing, but bear in mind that teachers are currently paid for the school year at its current length — in California, at least, they're officially paid hourly according to how long they teach, only on school days and a handful of set-aside preparation days; this amount is annualized. We've already got a problem with people leaving the profession or avoiding it because of low pay; making people put in more hours without raises will make you lose many of the most qualified teachers. And of course there's little budget to simply pay more.
the good teachers are not getting compensated enough. the only ones doing a good job are the ones that actually have a passion for just teaching; and there aren't enough of those types of people in the US to educate all our children. all the other smart people are going into the private sector where they're getting paid double or triple what teachers are getting paid.
Agreed. If you want to look at why, it might be interesting to take a look at administrative salaries and the increasing number of administrative positions. Administrators are largely the ones pushing for increased standardized testing to make their schools and districts look good on paper without particular regard for the quality of education the students get, and they have been increasingly pushing teachers to follow their pet projects to improve their numbers since No Child Left Behind was implemented. Interestingly enough, they are also the people clamoring most for getting rid of "bad teachers".
and i didn't even get into the politics of the education system. i'm not well enough informed about that to speak authoritatively but my friends that are teachers tell me how screwed up it is all the time.
There sure is a lot of politics, and it's hard to know about all of it as an outsider unless you make it your goal to investigate it. Just consider whose interest it is in to politicize education, and how those interests may have provided deceptive information to those you've gotten your information from.