What I like to see in life is continuity. It gives me a warm feeling to see the garbage picked up regularly, to have streetlights at night, and a sense of community.
At the next higher level of governance the sense that everything is copecetic just isn’t there. A bridge collapses in the midwest and people in Boston are amazed when a chunk of their “Big Dig” falls.
Things like bridges, tunnels, schools, highways, fire fighters, prisons, and police are functions that are correctly government functions. These functions require public support.
Likewise, making sure our food isn’t adulterated, Snake oil salesmen don’t prey on the innocent, and financial snake oil salesmen don’t cheat an unsophisticated public. The society we live in is complex and we have to pay for the dial tone, the dam or levees that protect us. It’s a complex world that keeps us comfortable and it costs money.
It’s a romantic notion to think government is the problem. Perhaps if we were living in the middle ages this would be ok. In fact, over the last several hundreds of years communities have sprung up to pursue this type of intentional community. I think of the Oneida, Shaker, and other communities who sought to be self sufficient.
Well enough of that. Back to education. Educators have been widely pilloried justly and unjustly. Where educators are held in high esteem in much of the world. Here, unfortunately, primary school teachers are seen as not good enough to teach secondary school and secondary school teachers are fair game as well. They are being vilified and torn apart by competing religious and secular forces. And they are not being paid for their value to society.
I subscribe to several language sites. Some sites give a word or words of interest daily. Today I got an interesting video of how they handle primary education in Brazil. Although Brazil has 26 states and one autonomous federal district it is my Brazil has a federally controlled education system as opposed to the US system of stat-by-state boards of education. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Brazil)
I think this is a reasonable thing since what I read in the literature has little to do with education and arguing about putting creationism on an equal footing with biology, geology, local tomfoolery….. and more about faulting teachers for the mess.