I am a conservative Math teacher of 33 years. It seems that a lot of folks think they have the answer and it is all choice. Not so. The answer isn't more evaluations for teachers either. Until society VALUES a good education nothing will change. It is true lower economic groups tend to do poorer on tests, but education isn't valued in those homes. The main reason homeschool, charter schools, private schools, and public schools work is the parents (or significant adult) care that the kids get a good education and the kids realize it is expected of them to go to school and learn and do the work necessary to get a good education. The other contries that are passing US understand that. All the excuses and fault finding are the problem.