My husband is studying to be a school teacher. Yes, my entire household will be dependant on the government - in every conceivable way. Am I nervous? Yes.
But enough about me. He shared this u-tube video with me that was slighly disturbing - and exciting at the same time:
He comes back from his certification seminars overwhelmed by what he is expected to pull off in the classroom. Learning has to be project based, because that is how people work now a days. He has to take into consideration 8 different learning styles - including naturalistic and musical... and ensure that the gifted and talented are challenged, while the learning disabled kids are mainstreamed and brought along with the group. Special needs must be catered to and the government will pay whatever it takes to help a disabled child perform - equipment, staff, whatever it takes.
He told me that his teacher - the teacher's teacher, if you will - said that parents don't get sued for being bad teachers - but they do get sued if they are not attentive to a needy child.
I had lunch with a gentleman who's daughter is a special needs teacher. She declined working at a tony school district because the high expectation parents band together and sue the principle, adminstrators, and teachers every year for whatever they can string together.
What is going on here? Is this all a good idea? I'm not sure. My teachers used to hit me with a ruler if I fell behind. They could have cared less if I finished. I don't even know why I did. I absolutely hated high school. But watching that video scares me and makes me think I am already a dinosaur. What about my kids? Are they going to be ready? Can we all get ready at the same time, or does bringing everyone with make for a mediocre trip?
And that gets me to thinking about drop out rates for large school districts in Texas where low-income students make up at least 80 percent of the enrollment have dropout/attrition rates of 50 percent or more. Source: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7063520.html 
Our friend's intelligent son was so bored in high school that he dropped out. The school district approached him and offered him $1500 to finish the year. He took it. Small price to pay in order to preserve the thousands that the district gets if they can get him to show up every day and pass those tests. Although I can't find an article on this to back me up - I did find this discussion of the idea in Boston http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/01/12/paying_kids_to_stay_in_school/