America's Failed Education System
By David Holcberg (Financial Times, June 19, 2003)
According to the Nation's Report Card released on June 20, average reading scores dropped "in virtually every level of expertise among 12th graders since the last exam in 1998 and in 1992." Not only that, but "among fourth graders, 25 percent of whites, 56 percent of Latinos and 60 percent of blacks lack a rudimentary mastery of skills."
The dismal results are a direct consequence of government attempts to improve elementary and secondary education in America. Such attempts have failed and will continue to fail for a simple reason: the way to improve education is not more government involvement but less--much less.
In fact, education in America will substantially improve only when the government's virtual monopoly on education is replaced by a free market, where bad schools go out of business, incompetent teachers are fired, and worthless curriculums are dumped.
As long as schools and teachers are not accountable to parents but to the government, students will be trapped in our current educational system, with little hope of getting the knowledge and thinking skills they need to succeed in life.