I agree with you, Kay, on the mess that is our (mis-)education system. I mentioned my sarcastic comment on the teaching of 'texting' instead of cursive. But my disenchantment with education at all levels goes much deeper. Ant that from a person who has multiple advanced degrees and once bought into the notion that the road to economic advancement was through education. To continue with the comparison I started yesterday. One hundred years ago my grandfather was qualified to teach elementary school classes--because he graduated from 8th grade. By the time I was graduated from 8th grade teachers had to have a bachelor's degree. Now the bachelor's is only a toe in the door. You had better plan to go on for a master's. One hundred years ago a young person without either wealth of his own or family to rely on could work for four or five years and be able to save enough to pay for his college education. When he graduated he had no loans hanging over his head but a world of opportunity thanks to that education. By the time I was in college (on the GI Bill, thank you very much Uncle Sam) many of my friends worked over the summer and earned enough to pay for their next year's classes and often enough to live frugally with at most a part time job during the school year. Now the new graduates usually come out with the degree in one hand and a hefty loan in the other. And, as I have noted before, the economic benefits (spread out over a working lifetime) don't justify the expenditure. The grandfathers and great-grandfathers of today's graduates were a scarce commodity in a world when less than half of the working population had a high school education. Now, graduates with a bachelor's degree are a dime a dozen. The world has changed but our cultural assumptions haven changed with it. The basic questions--education for what, at what price, and for whom--haven't been asked much less answered.
I wonder if our legislators will hear confirmation of this poll which shows very low approval ratings for them and for the Tea Party. Unfortunately it is rather far from the next election and people have a tendency to say we should throw the bums out but they rather like their own bums.
Here is an intriguing story about our wonderful bureaucracy. Two sisters who were born at home, were home schooled, and have no medical records are forced to spend a fortune suing the state to get birth certificates and then have to sue the U.S. government to get social security numbers.