In fact, K-12 public education is very much government controlled and operated in accordance with the wishes and mandates of the insiders, aka administrators and teachers, and for the benefit of those same administrators and teachers, and not aligned with the choices of We the People.
Admittedly, that's a harsh assessment of the current situation, but it's backed up by a recent survey of school officials and the public they are hired to serve.
We the People need to start acting like it's our country in lots of ways, and education is a great place to begin. It's our country and our kids' futures that are at stake, and nothing is more important than that.
Teachers vs. the Public is subtitled 'Educators don't agree with the average American on how to run schools.' The book excerpt cites some clear headed facts about the varying views of educators, citizens and who's in charge.
And guess what? It's not we commoners, aka We the People, who are in charge:
"From "Teachers Versus the Public: What Americans Think About Schools and How to Fix Them" (Brookings), a new book by Paul E. Peterson, Michael Henderson and Martin R. West:
Teachers and the public disagree over other teacher employment policies. . . . Seventy-six percent of the public think that teachers should demonstrate success in raising student achievement before receiving tenure but only 29 percent of teachers share that view. The total elimination of tenure is supported by 72 percent of the public but by only 35 percent of teachers. Teachers are also more skeptical than the public of allowing principals to hire uncertified applicants and more likely to see teacher unions as having a positive effect on local schools. Indeed, on each of these teacher policy issues, a majority of teachers oppose the position taken by a majority of the public.
When it comes to setting the terms for teacher employment, public policy today is more consistent with teacher opinion than with that of the public as a whole. While merit pay plans were enacted during [Michelle] Rhee's tenure in Washington, D.C., and have been introduced in other locales, only a few districts around the country have significantly modified traditional practices, which compensate teachers according to experience and credentials without regard to performance. Only a few districts have eased the process by which teachers can be dismissed if they are shown to be ineffective, and traditional teacher certification policies remain largely intact in most states, though in some states teachers can begin teaching before obtaining certification. On these issues, policy seems more responsive to those inside the iron [education] triangle than to the public at large."
Vouchers are the answer.
They would demonstrate to the "powers that be" where the power really lies.
Vouchers would change a top down bureaucratic government driven system to a market based system where the customer is in control.
In turn, our system of education would improve immediately, and our costs would decrease dramatically as well.
Most importantly, our kids would be well served, and our nation would emerge stronger.
The status quo is a powerful force for keeping things as they are, but it's a force worth fighting and beating.
We the People can win, but first we much take up the fight.
That's my take and that's the true American way -- individuals being free to choose and a system of self government designed to do just that.