I believe that a lot of our countries problems could be solved by improving the education system in the United States. One of the biggest problems facing our education system is the quality of teachers in the public school system. Though school funding is a large problem, the most glaring problem in my mind at the time is that of tenure. Tenure was created so that good professors couldn’t get fired from universities for administrative reasons. But now in public schools, teachers are handed tenure after an average of about 3 years teaching, most without performance as the condition under which they receive tenure. (http://teachertenure.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004125) This is bad for the education of children in the United States because not only do teachers not have performance incentives after they are fired, but they are also almost impossible to fire, even for glaring affronts to human decency. http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/7425 (see passing the trash). This tenure problem is made a true problem by its difficulty to reform. The American Federation of Teachers PAC spent $11.6 million in the 2012 election cycle http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?cycle=2012&strID=C00028860, and contributed over 2 million to candidates, ranking them 14th in national PAC contributions. With all of that money going to representatives it makes it very difficult to reform.
My idea to fix the issue of the lack of quality public school teachers, though it doesn’t directly address the issues associated with tenure, is to subsidize college education costs for top performing students from schools on the condition that they return to their former schools and teach for some amount of time, while simultaneously teaching the other teachers in the school how to improve their teaching.