There are no shortages of great ideas in education, both small-scale and large-scale. There are some brilliant teachers and educators out there in the field. But we have not done much more than tinker at the edges of the system. For that reason, we have doomed massive numbers of children -- particularly those with the misfortune to be born poor -- to academic underachievement and having no real shot at the American dream of a comfortable middle-class life.
I believe that when large numbers of children fail academically, it is the responsibility of the adults around that child. The schools in my neighborhood in the South Bronx were lousy in the 1960s, and they are by and large still lousy today. Why wouldn't they be? They pretty much have not changed what they do. The kids aren't going to spontaneously get better by themselves.
We, as a country, need to say "enough is enough."