The other day at work I managed to raise the ire of a coworker by stating that "there is no such a thing as a good government school", of course he got defensive and said "I have to disagree, my kids go to a good public school". I didn't mean to start an argument, and I am sure his kids go to a better government school when compared to other government schools. I said that because to me the structure of the government school system is flawed and no amount of money or effort will remedy the problem as long as the one size fits all structure remains in place.
On a related topic, I had dinner with some friends who have a teenage boy in the government school system, I asked him about his classes, what they did in school, etc. On one hand it sounded like he was doing a lot, being young and in a trigonometry class (something I never even took in high school), on the other hand he described class after class where they watched movies, youtube videos and other stuff like that. His mom even told me in an almost proud fashion "they are very into multimedia at his school". I am not sure about this. I find kids working at restaurants who cannot calculate correct change in their heads, despite supposedly being taught algebra by fifth grade, and the multimedia thing seems great for lazy teachers. This is just one case, but it gave me a glimpse into the school system that I don't see.
Sheldon Richman agrees with me on schools and the need to eliminate all government education. It is not only the morally right thing to so to eliminate the theft that is behind the taxation used to fund these schools, but it is also the right thing to do in terms of an overall improvement in the quality of education most kids will receive.