In response to:

“One-Third of Fourth Graders are Functionally Illiterate”

gayle125 Wrote: Jan 29, 2013 11:54 AM
The problem is progressive utopia....the breakdown of the family and parents not recognizing they are to be partners with the teacher, both aiming for high achievement. However, since public schools do not compete for their students, the standards are not always high. Teacher's unions that protect bad teachers is a large reason. Middleton, Wisconsin could not even fire a teacher for having porn on his school computer. My son has had lousy teachers even other teachers wanted him fired, but no hope with the union protection. Create competition by allowing parents to choose their school with full taxpayer support. We don't tell persons receiving Food Stamps where to buy their food based on their zip code. Medicaid not based on zip code.

The U.S. education system is failing our kids and has been for decades. Thus, the first step towards solving this problem is admitting that we have one. And we certainly do -- as AFP’s Casey Given points out in his op-ed in The Hill today:

Since 1983, the freshmen high school graduation rate has increased a measly 1.8 percent. Meanwhile, student achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress has stagnated, dropping by 1 point in reading and increasing by merely 4 points in math among 17-year-olds from the early 1980s to 2008. Today, one-third of fourth graders are...