America’s confidence in its public schools has dropped significantly in the past half-century. A mere 29 percent of Gallup survey participants expressed a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools, down from 58 percent the first time the question was asked in 1973. However, unlike the many other institutions that saw a similar decline over the years, no single event or scandal can be blamed for public schools’ waning confidence. Perhaps through their own experience, or that of their kids, people have simply stopped believing that traditional public schools are working.
So what can we do to fix it? We have to start by asking what the role of K-12 education should be, what subjects we teach and how those courses should be taught.
America’s early public-school system limited who could access its services, but for those who were fortunate enough to attend, it was spectacularly successful in creating a citizenry of literate 19th-century yeoman with the skills needed to read a ballot, measure a fence, or avoid getting cheated by the other party at the market.
Read the full article in the Daily Caller.