K-12 Education.

This camel became increasingly concerned about declining standards in British K-12 schools in terms of student achievement. On moving to the USA in 1982 the problems were even more evident so concern morphed into alarm. The scale of the problem was detailed in a report issued by the US Department of Education called "A Nation at Risk". In the generation since the report was published (1983), the USA has continued to lose ground in international comparisons.

Structural Reform
Bad Ideas

“The child is not educated to return home and be of use to the place and community; he or she is educated to leave home and earn money in a provisional future that has nothing to do with the place or community. The local schools no longer serve the local community; they serve the government’s economy and the economy’s government. Unlike the local community, the government and the economy cannot be served with affection, but only with professional zeal or professional boredom. Professionalism means more interest in salary and less interest in what used to be known as disciplines. And so we arrive at the idea, endlessly reiterated in the news media, that education can be improved by bigger salaries for teachers--which may be true, but not, as the proponents too often imply, by bigger salaries alone. There must also be a love of learning and of the cultural tradition and of excellence. And this love cannot exist, because it makes no sense, apart from the love of a place and community. Without this love, education is only the importation into a local community of centrally prescribed “career preparation” designed to facilitate the export of young careerists.”................."The Work of Local Culture" by Wendell Berry

So the government controls the schools. Could that be the problem? What sense does centralizing the control of education make in a free society? Maybe it is time to return control to the local community.