American education in general is falling behind other nations. More African-American young men are in prison and in the criminal process than in college! Fewer Americans in college in 2005 were science majors than in 1956, the Year of Sputnik!
The top-down structure of education is all wrong. National standards are another distraction for principals; charter schools and vouchers dodge the problem; blaming lack of money or the teachers’ union solves nothing.
Freedom works! Free principals, teachers, students, and parents from bureaucratic micromanagement, release their latent power, and let their teamwork fix education. Begin with an agreed curriculum and goals; collaborate on a three-year plan for which the team is accountable; use class and school composite performance for measurement and bonuses; team outstanding teachers at a higher base pay with inexperienced teachers; team best students with younger students; motivate former bullies to help keep order; pay teachers more for urban assignments; and make full use of computer technology in all schools.
With education structured bottom-up, teachers and principals will enjoy the satisfaction they deserve from a job well done, and students will receive the education they need.