OPINION: Steven Greenhut - Fixing America's Poorly Functioning Public School Systems Might Require a Bulldozer

There are few things as important as educating our children, yet, as a society, we don't act that way. We certainly don't place strict demands on the extra spending. We complain if our latest high-tech gadget feature doesn't work as promised, but tolerate a public-school system that was built at a time when there were no telephones, automobiles, or radios.

The Southern California News Group Editorial Board, of which I'm a member, recently met with some Orange County CEOs who are admirably trying to boost career opportunities for the majority of students who are not going to attend a university. That problem is acute. I've seen it in my life—young people who graduate high school but have no marketable skills, then spend their years in low-paying, unsatisfying work.

It reminds me of the refrain in Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues: "Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift." These days, they put you in a little cubicle, in a fast-food restaurant, or sign you up for the ever-expanding number of state welfare benefits—itself a testament to our failing education system.

Read more at Reason


A former columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Greenhut is western regional director of The K Street Institute.