'Saving' Public Schools Not a Money Thing

Better education can't be legislated, or bought—parents have to make the effort
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2008 4:29 PM CDT
GOOD Magazine's Gary Stager examines the complexity of America's failing public schools, and why "saving" them from the top down won't help children.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – As dissatisfaction with the nation’s No Child Left Behind policy grows, it seems educators, politicians, and businessmen all have their own take on how to “save” the US public school system—with little consensus. Gary Stager, in Good, examines the overwhelmingly complex difficulties facing the nation’s ailing schools, and why responsibility—and a solution—lies with parents, not polemicists.

Stager details the historical movement toward standards-based, top-down reform in public education, with little consideration for what actually comprises an enriching educational experience. Rather than more exams and more incentives, Stager contends, what public schools need is parents with genuine concern for their local schools, and the determination to hold local government responsible.