Recently I've been listening to This American Life while knitting.
This episode: Two Steps Back captures perfectly the reasons I haven't fought too hard to get back into public school teaching. The school and the teachers described and interviewed in the program just about reduced me to tears, because it so closely resembles my experiences with the public school system in this country.
I firmly believe the system is broken. Some individual schools have been spared, but the federal mandates currently in place would change that.
No sane educator would take an honors student and place them in a remedial course. Why then are the educational reform programs doing just that with high-achieving schools and teachers? Yes, some students, and some teachers, need a structured program to help them rise to the expected heights. Knocking people off the top of that peak and making them climb back up at the same pace as the slower ones is pure lunacy.
And this is why I would have to think long and hard about sending a child to public school - not because of the teachers or the curriculum (though I have questions about them, too) - but because of the politics and bureaucracy that have far too much control over the whole system.