K-12 School Governance Commentary

Tom Knighton:

Look, I’m not a huge fan of public education. While I agree we need some kind of education, I’m not sure public education is the way to address it. There’s no accountability for bad systems and no options for those displeased with their schools.

Yet the law requires some degree of education for your children. You have to either teach homeschool or pay for private school unless you opt for public education.

Further, public education is funded by society as a whole through, among other things, property taxes as well as federal tax dollars being sent to state and local systems. It’s not funded through specialized taxes that only impact those who use certain resources—like, say, the gasoline tax being used to help fund road construction—but through broad taxes that impact everyone regardless of whether they utilize the services directly.

The thinking goes that this is because society as a whole benefits from an educated populace.

This is fair.

Yet this also implies that this is an entitlement, not some privilege. After all, the state constitution calls for a public education system to educate the citizens of Pennsylvania.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.