Originally Posted by Ataturk
What part of it doesn't make sense?
Even though you probably think they're free, public schools are actually spectacularly expensive. In most places they spend more per student to educate kindergartners than college students. It's absurd. Public schools are a racket.
Who goes to what school is decided based on geography. And schools have no choice in what students they accept. That means that to get away from the bad kids (and the bad politicians who get to decide who gets what from that $20,000-per-kindergartner-per-year smorgasbord), you have to move somewhere where the bad kids' parents can't afford to live. You end up with a huge amount of energy and work devoted to solve this artificial problem. That's a lot of wasted money, or quality of life if you're into that.
Public schools have had a number of other missions offloaded onto them along with educator. Educators are expected to be social workers, developmental psychologists, and educators (often in that order). The rich districts see a lot fewer of the social work cases, the parents of autistic kids (etc) have enough money to get help without dumping it entirely on the schools, and so the schools have enough energy to actual do some education.
No Child Left Behind really drags things down in a major way. We've pushed a lot of resources into dragging the lowest performers up to barely average, and haven't been very successful at it. The cost have been utterly failing high performers, test-centric learning that doesn't develop useful skills, and serious teacher burnout and talent drain.
it's amazing how much money and energy gets devoted to the retarded/autistic/miscellaneously developmentally fucked kids. You'll have a teacher and aid for six kids. Everybody knows those kids aren't going to ever be productive members of society, but this is apparently the best thing we can come up with to do with them. It's sort of like a modern asylum, a place to send the kids so their parents don't go insane and start killing people.