Nerdfighters

If a student didn't pass 4th grade math, I'd make them take it in summer school. There would be class levels, not grades; so one student may be in 6th grade math and 3rd grade English. They'd have to pass all levels of all classes to graduate. I'd teach government and ethics to all grade levels; it wouldn't be one class you take in high school. I'd have independent study for all grade levels as well. I'd get rid of approved reading lists for book reports. I'd make the last hour of the school day tutoring time, so students could get a jump on their homework and help on the tough stuff. Since I'm the new dictator of education, we'd have limitless funding. So I'd have more field trips and I'd send a computer home with every student, who would also have school-funded high-speed internet. 

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I'd make it mandatory. That way parents who don't like it will be forced to change it rather than move their kid to a private school.
Is that Übereil or Übermensch? So parents who dislike the public school system for whatever reason shouldn't be allowed to home-school? Amish families should be forced to send their kids to a public school even though it goes against their religion? If a kid is getting beat up in school on a daily basis, his parents shouldn't be allowed to transfer him to a safe private school? Seriously?
"So parents who dislike the public school system for whatever reason shouldn't be allowed to home-school?"

Not for whatever reason, no. In extreme circumstances, where the parents are competent enough, I'm open to the idea though, but in the general case the answer is 'no'.

"Amish families should be forced to send their kids to a public school even though it goes against their religion?"

The kid's right to school trumphs the parent's rights in this case. Though I'm sure some kind of compromise could be reached. Religious schools does exist in Sweden. The requirement is that they charge no fees and that they comply to Swedish standards of teaching.

"If a kid is getting beat up in school on a daily basis, his parents shouldn't be allowed to transfer him to a safe private school?"

If a kid gets beat up on a daily basis the school itself will(/should) deal with it by either moving the beater or the beaten.

"Seriously?"

Yeah, it's what the Swedish school system looks like. Everything is tax funded. There are so called Free Schools though, that are essentially private schools, but they too get their funding through the state, and must live up to the state's requirements on education. If they don't they get their permit withdrawn.
I think that it would be an even better idea to provide funding for individual students and privatize most schools so that everyone could go where he or she wanted to. This would probably solve lots of religious debates as well. Not that it wouldn't start a few of its own.
If every school were a private school; there'd be the haves, the have-nots and the whackos. The have-nots would get a minimal education and probably only barely meet the minimum educational requirements. The haves would have a super education, buttressed by the manifold extracurricular activities their parents paid for. The haves would have their pick of colleges, the have-nots would have a greater difficulty. The whackos would marinate in whacko philosophy all their lives, never meeting any non-whackos, never learning to challenge the authority of whacko-ism. They'd move from whacko school to whacko college and then have whacko kids of their own.

These problems already exist in the system we currently have, but are not as bad as they could be. Private schools can turn any students away, what's to stop them from turning away all from poorer families?
I see your point about whackos, but what makes them whackos is their different beliefs. While the system might not be totally feasible, I think that it would be a better exercise of our rights. As for funding, if the capitalistic system is allowed to run its course, the schools who could not stand up to the pressure would no longer exist. But, with the governmental funding, things would be somewhat standardized, so the whole poorer family thing wouldn't be the case. This would be a better way for our "multi-cultural" nation to highlight its beliefs rather than stifling them through public education that allows for only the worldview of the state which is in a continuous in argument with itself.
Boot Camp for problem children.
If students were to fall below a certain grade standard or exhibit especially bad behavior they would be sent to boot camp for at least one semester. If and/or when they get back to the educational and behavior level that they need to be at then they can be incorporated back into the regular school system.
"Little Timmy, you haven't been doing well enough in school, and you don't play nice* with other kids, so we're going to take you away from your friends and family and send you to a special school where you'll be surrounded by all the most fucked up kids in society." Yeah, that makes sense. Sending people to prison to be surrounded by similarly fucked up individuals seems to work so well at rehabilitation, lets do the same thing for kids. And why even consider changing the system when it's so much easier to change the kid until they're perfect for the system (or kill themselves)?

*What constitutes "playing nice" is to be determined at whim by the school administration.
It would start from an earlier age and there would be more focus on teaching students to their highest ability, in public schooling I have noticed that often the smartest are thrown in with the dumbest and they all come out as mediocre sausages.

Also, students are forced to specialize, no matter what they enjoy. This should not happen. >8¬/
I was just thinking this same thing. My school had an all school community service day. Most people went and actually helped the community, i painted some school rooms. Three walls the same beige, and the fourth wall brown. Why are public school systems not allowed to have color's on their walls? God forbid someone actually enjoyed their learning environment. I asked the assistant principal when he swung by for a visit why we could only have one boring color. His response. " Its too expensive to paint over another color if a new teacher moves, or changes rooms. Don't get mad at me, get mad at the school district" My school does NOT lack money in any way shape or form. We just got a 3 million dollar re-model. We have LCD monitors in every room. We have 7 computer rooms.(serving 750 students) 2 LCD monitors in the lunch room(serving no purpose), but painting those damn walls, HELL NO, THAT COSTS MONEY. NO CREATIVITY IN OUR SCHOOL. FUCK.NO. Onward with my changes. I would boost the budget of the arts. I would allow students to pick what they wanted to learn. I would paint the walls as many colors as the teachers and the students wanted. I would have a class centered around world awareness, so that nobody is ignorant/un-informed.
As the dictator/tyrant/czar of education, I'd first do some serious gerrymandering and mix the richest kids with the poorest kids to give everyone a more accurate picture of the world. I would then ban textbooks seeing as they're all corrupted and biased. Case and point, the Texas State Board of Education eliminated Thomas Jefferson as one of the nations most influential writers because of his ideas of separation of church and state so the rest of the country learns an alternate version of history because almost all school districts buy their textbooks from Texas. I would make learning from a plethora of sources absolutely mandatory (mums the word on how much a plethora should be). Tracking (the practice of placing students amongst only those of their intellectual level) will be punishable because it's a fact that student learn more from each other than the instructor at times and tracking only separates the high, medium and low to an unsettling degree. I too would eliminate approved reading lists. I've had enough with not letting students explore their reading tastes. I'm also heavily into the world appreciation class proposed. Finally, I think I would pour tons of money into public transportation so that students have no problems getting to and from school. I'm riding on the theory that students would be more likely to attend school if they didn't have to depend so much on themselves to get there.
The first thing I'd do, and I want to shoot myself in the dick for feeling this way, is to limit the power of the teacher's unions (no clue how I would go about doing this, but for the purpose of this discussion I'm going to assume I'm omnipotent). I'm a huge supporter of unions (in one myself), but as far as I'm concerned the students matter a fuckton more than the teachers. If a teacher sucks he/she should not be entitled to their job. Firing crappy teachers needs to become a lot easier. But of course in a lot of places we don't have enough teachers to get the job done if we fire all the incompetent ones (which by my estimation would leave the country with about 6 or 7 teachers) I move on to my next idea which is...

...PAY TEACHERS MORE MONEY!!! Summers off and multiple random vacations thrown in throughout the year undoubtedly kick a great deal of ass, but for the most part teaching is still a shit job. You have to put up with 7 periods each consisting of 30 kids, the majority of which are assholes and enjoy making you as miserable as possible. If you're smart and talented, are you going to teach? Shit no! You've got plenty of much better job opportunities (Citation probably needed, but fuck that) that pay very well and don't involve you getting pelt by shit from angsty teenagers. Solution? Pay teachers semi-ridiculous amounts of money! And while we're at it, make it harder to become a teacher. And for the love of god, let teachers carry guns in school!

And how do we pay for it? Simple! In 15 or 20 years when we get a generation of Americans whose average IQ isn't in the single digits, I'm sure they'll figure something out.

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