by Jeffry R. Fisher

Last Updated 22-Mar-2008

In a recent online poll, I ranked education as the number #1 political issue in America today. I can understand others marking it down since many people interpret "education is a priority" as "throw more money at the current system", and the current system stinks. However, I ranked education #1 for several other reasons.

Below, I try to analyze universal education from first principles. It's difficult, because most of us, myself included, are products of public schools, so our thinking (and feelings) about it have been inculcated from an early age, rendering us prone to blind spots filled with assumptions. My hope is to shed our blinders, identify assumptions, and challenge them.

Seeing the Forest...

Many have listed a whole litany of problems with America's K-12 education, most simultaneously crying for massive infusions of new tax money. However, the most commonly cited problems are just symptoms of deeper, structural flaws.

Addressing symptoms individually is wasted tactical effort that will founder on the same political rocks that have ground up reform after reform over several generations. America's school system is strategically flawed. To achieve any meaningful advance, we must identify and correct the system's strategic fault(s).

To think strategically, we need to step back from the symptoms for a moment and look for systemic causes, system-wide structure that causes the symptoms. Cure the disease, and symptoms will clear up.


External Links:

Coming Attractions:

Copyright 2003-2008 by Jeff Fisher
Jeffry R. Fisher is the founder and president of Propagate Ltd (, which is liberating digital content.