Our schools are turning millions of normal children into dropouts and failures. This isn't because of a few bad teachers or principals, but because the natural learning behaviors of children are routinely penalized instead of praised.
The cart of testing is firmly before the horse of quality education in American schools, rather than the more appropriate other way around. It's creating an inertia that is all but impossible to change.
It is inarguable that the quality and accessibility of public education has distinguished the United States from the rest of the world, and was directly responsible for our emergence as the global superpower.
The rise of inter-disciplinarity has not diminished the hyper-specialization in the academy, and the resultant pursuit of status through esoteric language has deepened the gulf between humanists and the public.