The Drudge Report is carrying an article saying that 25% of Washington D.C. public school teachers send their children to private school. This is utterly unsurprising to me. If I remember correctly, D.C. public schools pay the highest and score the lowest in the country. Any sane parent would run in the opposite direction.
The problem, of course, is that the public school system is a government-subsidized monopoly, and works about as well as any other government-subsidized monopoly. You aren't even allowed to go to a public school outside of your district in most cases. If there is a single public school in the district, it has absolutely no incentive to do any better than the bare minimum. Moreover, the public school system is the favorite breeding-ground of the worst kinds of historical revisionism, absurd teaching philosophies with flashy booklets and powerful patrons, lowest common denominator teaching, and general incompetence.
Please note, there are quite a few excellent public schools out there. They should all be commended for struggling so mightily against the overwhelming tide of idiocy coming from the system. But they are exceptions to the rule.
More ominous, many people are reporting that the history books distributed by public schools place the Constitution in the appendices, devote more time to the Japanese-American internment in WWII than to the war itself, and do their best to promulgate very specific ideological frameworks which are more appropriate to Sweden than to America. As Orwell put it, "He who controls the past, controls the future…"
Send your kids to private schools. If you can, homeschool them. Count your lucky stars if you actually can take advantage of a decent public school, but even then watch over your children's education constantly. The bottom line is that the public school system, once the secret to our success, will end up destroying America… if we let it.