Public education is a MESS.
Official high school graduation rates dropped last week as a new measure for all states was put in place (Here, here and here are examples. One report in March from Slate seems woefully in the dark as they report a 3.5% rise in rates). Excuses given were that it is too hard to do the paperwork necessary to make sure withdrawn students are put into another school, or that this doesn't take into acount students who graduate in five years
Teachers are finally standing up and opting out of standardized testing (well, some are).
And speaking of standardized testing, as the nation is gripped by tension as kids bubble in their bubbles in the next month, remember this from last year - the sale of America's schools to the highest bidder ("One study estimated that revenues from the K-12 online learning industry will grow by 43 percent between 2010 and 2015, with revenues reaching $24.4 billion.")?
High bidders and big money players including but not limited to Bill and Melinda Gates and their involvement with Pearson, the company that coordinates all testing IN THE COUNTRY and is now "leading the way" as companies design curriculum and assessments for the Common Core Standards?
Public education is for sale to the highest bidder, churning out lemmings, not innovators, and sinking fast. Factories are coming back to the US not because there is a cry for manufacturing but a cry for jobs for students trained only to be a cog in the wheel (this article from 2010, the height of the recession, points out that there are plenty of jobs, but no one skilled enough to hire).
Common Core Standard are repackaged to appear as if they have more depth, but they are pretty much the same standards; states all over the country are working on "crosswalks," correlations between standards indicating that there really isn't much different. These are simply a way to make more money off of schools
We cannot change schools until we change our thinking. We cannot change our thinking until we stop looking at public schools as money factories churning out consumers. We are wasting our most valuable resources - thinkers, dreamers, doers. Leaders, writers, inventors. Wasted. Testing. Filling in bubble sheets. Circling the correct letter. Giving the one right answer.