The Reality of Public Education
Politicians talk about “reforming education.” Benevolent billionaires make grand gestures towards “reforming education.”
Not surprisingly, members of the general public get the idea that US Public Education is something that’s not quite up to scratch, but can be put right if enough money and regulations are applied to reforming it.
Actually, the phrase “reforming education” meaningless. The “form” of US public education remains the same as it has been for nearly 200 years. All that changes are promises about education.
For one thing, not everyone means the same thing by the word education.
And for another, there is no way that 13,000+ school districts from California to New York serving 50 million children between the ages of six and seventeen and staffed by millions of diverse human beings can ever deliver the same type or quality of education to every child.
The fact is that money or no money, laws or no laws, the quality of education children receive in any public school depends on the home they come from.
Generally speaking, the children who are most successful in school grow up in economically stable homes in law-abiding neighborhoods, but it is not just the children of the poor who fail to achieve reading fluency by fourth grade.
Reading does not come easy to children who lack sufficient exposure to language between birth and the age of five.
More important than family wealth or education is the amount of interaction that takes place between parent and child during those formative years.
Parents of any education or income level have the power to lay the foundation of academic success for their children during the years between birth and five years.