American Thinker has an article By Robert Weissberg, talking about how much money we spend on education reform”The Education Reform Racket ” http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/10/the_education_reform_racket.html

He quotes Eric Hoffer [asserted,] “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” and applies it to education. I agree. He focuses on the current penchant  to give things away to students, computers in particular. He points out the waste and difficulties and the permanence of the requirement for tech support. Thus, the schools are becoming tech services providers rather than teachers.

He mentions in passing how well the computer companies are doing in all this, particularly Apple. The ties of Apple to government schools are obviously racket, in my opinion.

He does not mention what I consider the key. Compulsion.

Mr. Weissberg explains the great lengths some of the schools are going to to increase attendance, and he points out how important attendance is to funding calculations, but attendance is a trivial factor in the problem. Compulsion is the root.

Indifference looms large as part of the problem. Well, let the indifferent stay ignorant. We cannot force them, so why try?

Truancy laws are the root problem. As long as we force everyone to school, our schools cannot get better.

I’m pretty certain that if we passed eliminated all truancy laws tomorrow, the immediate effect would be undetectable, as every mamma in the country would continue to insist her babies all continue to go to school. I suspect that within weeks, though a few would drop out, the overall attendance would increase. Kids and parents would realize they want an education simply because we stopped forcing them to get it.

Education reform is now a joke. There can be no reform in the system. Inertia is too high. Nothing can change unless the root is cut. End truancy laws, and encourage the dropouts to pursue a vocational path, and we will see improvements.

Also, get the federal government out of it entirely.

We need to add two words to the first amendment to our Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of education or religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Adding those two words, “education or”, right there in front of “religion” just might lift our schools to the level our houses of worship find themselves.

We really need our federal government to be just as hands-off with education as they are with religion.

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