That's the question.
I was talking with another education advocate recently and her take was that people (read: legislators) are tired of throwing money at public education and seeing the same results. And, that's why we need to support ed reform because legislators want to see something done differently in our schools.
Okay, I can understand not wanting schools and districts doing the same thing over and over and hoping for better results. However:
We don't fund full-day K.
We don't fund summer school for struggling students.
We don't fund college and career counselors.
Washington State does not fully fund education and hasn't for decades. Look it up - Washington State, depending on how you look at it, is 45th, 46th and 47th in the nation for funding (thank goodness for Alabama and Mississippi). So we aren't even funding at the average rate.
I have to wonder about this argument because it makes it very easy for legislators to pan schools without the laser focus being turned back onto them.
What IF our state funded education at the average rate spent in our country? (I'm not even asking for the Massachuseutts or New Jersey rate.) What IF our federal government funded Special Education at the 40% rate they are supposed to?
Could we try that and see how it goes for 3-5 years?
If ed reform is the grand experiment, then why not try the experiment of really funding our public schools?