You make some valid points. The most poignant to me, being the schools left to 'raise' children these days. In the effort to give our children a 'better' life than we had in generations before, we have done a disservice to the new generations of children and now young adults. We have raised a few generations now of young people that have never been taught to accept responsiblility for their behavior.
They have never been allowed to lose, all kids get trophies.. all kids get to play equal time on teams, even if they have NO or little talent. They were promoted on in school to save their self esteem, only to be lost now with no real education because they were not held back when they needed the time to mature and really master skills at the beginning of their school career.
If you really want NO child left behind, then abolish the practice of 'moving them through the grades' when they have not mastered grade abilities! It is no wonder we have so many people depressed and on anti-depressants these days; they never learned to cope with failure or defeat growing up. They never were allowed to feel bad and learn to work through those bad times and feelings. But bad times and feelings ARE part of being human.. It is no wonder to me, that we have shootings in the schools, that children snap, they have never learned coping skills needed in life.
Yes, more and more people want out of the public school system for private schools.. where there ARE strict expectations/rules/ values/uniforms and where you toe the line or you are OUT. We need more structure like THAT in our public schools.
School is as you say, a child's 'job' not a place to be entertained! We need to teach our children they are AMERICANS,....not Hispanic or Islamic or Asian Americans... but Americans, to take a page from Theodore Roosevelt. He warned that our strength is in the diverse peoples that become a AMERICANS. We need to quit putting 'political' agendas from the far right or the far left in our schools.
Children 'know' less, and yet the educational system asks more and more from it's educators. Educators have little time to actually transmit educational material. Teachers are too busy disciplining, or trying to, with little or no cooperation from the parents in most cases. Parents are in denial that their children are in anyway at fault or they themselves for that matter.
Most parents cannot control their own children at home, yet expect to send them to school, and have ONE adult, take on a room of 22 to 30 children of the same age, and that adult, that teacher, is supposed to control all of them at once. This is to be done, all without damaging anyone's self esteem, showing nurturing interest and kindness to each 'individual' student.
Educators are then expected to teach ALL the diverse cultures to these students, teach them to respect others things and personal space, that it is wrong to damage school property, and to cheat, and find ways to reach the growing numbers of Spanish speaking students, so they are NOT left behind. Finally we may find a little time to actually teach the curriculum.
When I went to school, we were held responsible for our work.. our behavior our dress our actions to others. If we slipped on any... we took a bad grade, and for what discipline we got in school...(and I was Never in a school that used corporal punishment) it was 100 times worse when we got home. We learned what we did or failed to do mattered, that there was a price to pay, just as there is in life!
This country is doomed if we don't save and strengthen our public school system. Jefferson's words are words of truth..no democracy can stand, with an unedcuated electorate. I can see the edges decaying already. Public schools used to help us 'define' ourselves, our values as Americans, now it is so watered down and diluted with pleasing every special interest and culture group, we are losing our IDENTITY as Americans.