It is no secret that the education system in both the US and UK are shadows of their former selves, and are the battleground for at least two competing groups:
- the ‘equalizers’ who insist that we can make anyone learn anything, and so necessarily hold back the best and the brightest. These are the minds in our colleges and departments of education, who paradoxically understand absolutely nothing about teaching, and explain away the current bad results, insisting that it just needs more money and ‘more study’.
- the free market crazies, who claim that completely underfunding public education and threatening every teacher with dismissal will somehow improve things. They also know nothing about teaching, and also ignore the data, claiming that privatizing the process will work, despite dismal results (in the US).
Thomas Jefferson noted that a successful democracy requires the active involvement of an educated electorate. For their short-term benefit, it is probably in the interests of the powers that be to have the system fail. In the US, education is seen as yet another commodity from which to extract profit, as healthcare has become. Sadly for those same people, it the system breaks, as it must, there won’t be enough trained people to fix the infrastructure, and they will go down with the rest of us.
For some quotes on education, including very funny ones, try: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/thoughts-on-teachers–from-socrates-to-lady-gaga/2012/05/08/gIQA9uEi9T_blog.html#pagebreak