Originally posted on A Moral Outrage:


The latest Gallup polls measuring Americans’ confidence in the nation’s institutions have been released, and the news is not good. Newspapers, banks, and small businesses all took a hit, while gains for the Congress, the Presidency, and the criminal justice system were relatively minor. One of the largest drops was for public schools. According to the poll, confidence in public schools has dropped five percentage points in the past year to 29 percent, a historic low since the question was first asked in the early 1970s.

That number has been in a long, slow slide for the past forty years:

This decline is alarming but understandable. With each passing year it becomes increasingly clear that the big-box school model that carried America through much of the 20th century is no longer working. School expenditures have increased even as performance has declined or stagnated, and international comparisons consistently show America…

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