In the school district I taught in, only about 10% of the students had parents with the same last name. In Europe, about 95% of the students could say the same. When I visited schools in several countries there, one thing I noticed missing was–no lunchroom! Around noon or thereafter, I watched with amazement as almost every person walked home to eat lunch with one or both parents. They discussed progress so far. I saw this from the other side (at parent’s home) and noticed the love and attention they gave their children when they arrived. I doubt too many people reading this believe it.
Another answer to our US education problem would be the voucher, (an economic one). Dr. Milton Freedman addressed this some twenty years ago in his series on PBS (if you believe that) called “Free to Choose”. He said that if parents were free to choose their schools, then the outcome would be much better and more efficient. The reason this is not done is political. Many local Democrats (mostly) support the NEA-Union. The NEA-Union gives them back forced dues in exchange for legislation supporting their extortion of said agency fees or dues. The other reason is that some play the race card, saying that only the smarter (or richer) people would be smart enough to send their children to the better schools. Another try here in SC was for the income taxpayers to have a credit, or deduction. Then the opposition says that the “poor” (non-workers) would not have that option. Homeschooling has now been legal since around 1985 following the Amish Supreme Court ruling from the 70s. Independent schools, or community schools like we had in the 1800s have also been successful. Something has to be done to stop the communists from corrupting our children with liberal thinking and dumbing down to the lowest common denominator. The public schools discourage competition, learning and getting ahead, not to mention independent (or clear) thinking.
The last US census report showed NY, NJ and Washington DC with the highest per-pupil spending (see page xii in link). The other fact that most people do not know is the percentage of Federal - 7% ; State - 50% and Local - 43% of the operating expendatures (see page ix).
Anyone care to weigh in on this blog. I have seen similar questions on the blog-asphere.