State vs. Local Control
Up until a few years ago, there was little interference between local school board control and state, or federal, influence. The status quo within the local school district continued to produce sub-standard graduates. Remedial classes in universities and colleges swelled beyond belief.
Twenty years ago, or so, high schools turned out graduates who could barely pass college entrance exams - when they could. Few went to prestigious colleges and universities, choosing to go to state colleges who had no choice but to accept all who applied.
Up until a few years ago, there was no system of checks and balances proving that a graduate was indeed worthy of carrying a state high school diploma. Even professional athletes have sued because they couldn't read and write. One in particular, who played in the NFL with the Washington Redskins argued that his high school diploma was worthless.
In comes state controls....
Now we have fewer remedial courses. More regional community colleges to handle the borderline graduates. We have a system of checks and balances in the name of exit exams, etc. ACT scores are rising. State standardized scores are higher. And, parents are prouder. Why? Well, isn't it obvious? Local control, and its political favoritism, never produced what communities wanted to send off. Local control expanded central office staff with fancy-titled positions and shady building contracts. Local politicians arranged jobs for incompetents (and still do) and superintendents granted favors where favors should not be.
Meanwhile, the states are kicking local cronies in the rear end and forcing changes on individual school districts. They're forcing them to make real changes for the sake of the kids. Schools are now required to raise scores to higher levels as each year passes. School boarrds are rearranging under pressure from state authorities. No more are state school boards ignoring local ineptness.
Test scores are indeed going up. Graduates are now truly deserving of the title. Prestigious universities are taking a sincere look at graduates of state schools. And, parents are starting to question whether the costs of parochial schools are worth it. Why? Because the state authorities are intervening. Because local ineptness and cronyism will not cut it anymore.