The economic background means something in education. It seems children in poorer areas may have a different definition of success than measured in well to do districts. I have observed a marked difference in expectations. In some communities a disability check is the new definition of success.
Did we move the goalposts?
Does it matter that I attend school?
In government there is usually an inverse relationship between what we pay for and what taxpayers receive in return. The only difference is that educators have measurable outcomes, which is unusual in government. I believe most educators have pride in their children's progress; however, education has developed a culture of beating the test. Drill the testing requirements, not the students.
Successful government management must have goals! In the private sector, there only one goal: This company must make a profit. In government, the goal I am accustomed to seeing is to get paid every two weeks.
But if our goals are not measured by academic success, everybody wins anyway...in this race to the bottom.
Lastly, like ElRoy, I have witnessed malparenting too. A toddler parked in front of a TV in his highchair, watching filthy rap lyrics and assorted pistols for hours at a time while mom is at work.
I watch more Mickey Mouse Clubhouse every day than that 2 year old.
None of this is an opinion, only my observations. But I agree that it will take more than just throwing money at the problem.