Many Americans tend to believe that the "federal" government is responsible for the provision of primary and secondary public education; however, that belief is incorrect. As the MSN Encarta article "Public Education in the United States points out, the primary responsibility for the provision of public education In the United States of America lies not with the national government but with the individual state governments and individual school districts."
(April 27, 2010 updateI am constantly amazed at the number of people who are not aware that the United States Government is not responsible for the American public education system, and that so many people mistakenly hold to the belief that somehow the President of the United States is responsible for public education and can do something about it in our country.
NOTE: I have removed the previously embedded link to the cited MSN Encarta article, because upon clicking it I received this message: "The MSN Encarta page you are trying to visit has been discontinued. If you are looking for dictionary content, please visit MSN Encarta Dictionary in US English, World English, or French." - BUMMER!!!)
Oftentimes, I come across people who do not realize that the educational system varies from state to state. That's amazing. Okay, the fact is that many people are unaware of the system, period.
What I find even most amazing is the number of people who do not even understand their own local public education system. For example, many people who live in the City of Toledo think that all schools in the city are part of the Toledo city public school system. Well, I got news for them. There is more than one school system in the City of Toledo. While I live in the City of Toledo, I do not live in the Toledo Public School District; I live in the Washington Local School District. Incidentally, there are more than just two school districts that have jurisdictional boundaries that come within the City of Toledo. Usually, those same people who do not understand the fact that there is more than one school system in Toledo also do not understand the difference in the roles and responsibilities of City of Toledo Government and Lucas County Government.
Gee, I wonder how many people who live in Lucas County, especially those who think they are an informed electorate, know that there are eleven (11) school districts that lie within Lucas County. They are:
Anthony Wayne Local School District
Evergreen Local School District
Maumee City School District
Ottawa Hills Village School District
Oregon City School District
Otsego Local School District
Springfield Local School District
Swanton Local School District
Sylvania City School District
Toledo City School District
Washington Local School District
Go on over here to see the school district maps with their boundaries.
I sure wish the many people who make misinformed and ill-informed opinionated comments about public schools would do their homework and learn the facts about the system of American public education before they open mouth and insert foot. If more people would take the time to understand the role, responsibilities, funding and finances, and the limitations of our present American public education system, then perhaps we might be able to really make the improvements and changes that are necessary in our schools to bring them in line with the century in which we currently live.