What is the measure of a good school? And who is best positioned to decide what works?
For decades, policymakers and education officials have attempted to bolster school “accountability” by increasing regulations on schools across the board—public, charter, and private. They have tried to do so at the federal level for half a century, with federal intervention in K-12 education hitting a high-water mark under the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind policy and the Obama administration’s attempts to pressure states into adopting Common Core.
Yet ever-increasing government intervention in schooling has had little positive impact on education outcomes writ large. Math and readingachievement outcomes have been largely stagnant since the 1970s for high school seniors, while graduation rates have seen only modest improvements (and even those figures may be artificially inflated).
About one-third of high school graduates have to take remedial courses in college, one-third of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, and 20 percent of high school graduates who want to join the Army cannot do so because they cannot pass the Armed Forces Qualification Test.