I tend to have such a radical thinking as you, Dave. However, I also realize that a revolution is always a shock to a system. In Poland we have the current government reverting the previous schooling reform to the older system in two years. It’s a mess. Children are confused. Parents are furious. Teachers are scared. The infrastructure in not robust. This is not a way to go, I think. Better might be to start new movements on the fringes: home schooling, Montessori, other programs. It will take a moment for them to become a main stream but the more parents will dare to choose such alternative solutions the more pressure will be put on the current system to reform itself. And perhaps not today or tomorrow but the system will eventually change.
I know it sucks as that basically mean that your kids have to suffer through what is there today. Still you have an option to go to the fringes —the bottom line is that it is your choice after all as scary as it may seem. Btw — I recently met three kids of a dear frond of mine who are home-schooled and I was blown away by them: smart, kind, insightful. Simply amazing! But here’s the trick. With traditional schooling you give away the responsibility to educate the kids to the teachers. With home-schooling this responsibility becomes solely yours. The output will be directly influenced by the input. Isn’t it the scariest thing of all?
I have recently bumped into an interview with Barack Obama talking about progress — it felt very inspirational particularly if you consider education as a long or even an infinite game rather than a short one: WTF with Marc Maron: Interview with Barack Obama I hope you will be inspired by it as well :)