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>a third of fourth graders can't read at a basic level

Academia/education in America needs to move past this "can't fail" philosophy.

Bad schools need to fail. Good schools need to grow.

What does "fail" mean? What would happen to the children who attend a school that has "failed"?

Same thing that happens with everything else. They patronize a different service provider.

In support of this comment:

In Australia, I saw a number of students transferred into the public school I attended because of poor results at other schools. They would be taken out of class when we were doing something beyond their level, so they could spend 1-on-1 time with a tutor who was trained in catching students up to their expected level. Some students, when transferred from another school, would repeat a year if necessary.

I've heard of multiple occurrences where an Australian public or private school was been investigated for poor results, and during these times parents were encouraged to transfer their children to other schools as the reduced demand would give the school staff room to improve.

(Tangent: I repeated year 4 (9-10yo) because my Mum thought I was "too small" and would be bullied. This led to me being bored by the materials. I thank the spare time this awarded me to why I discovered my Dad's computer, Macromedia Flash, and ActionScript 2.0. Starting programming at such a young age, especially in a C-style language, gave me a massive advantage in my programming career and perhaps life in general.)

In America that idea is absolutely pointless. For almost all children, local property taxes are the source source of education funding. A local school board administers this money and has a huge amount of discretion in spending it with practically no oversight. They were responsible for hiring the previous school administration and will also hire the next,

If you have any idea of how to get out of this situation I'd be thrilled to hear it.

What is unique about education that it must be funded in such a particular "situation" in the first place, versus all other service industries?

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