"In our society, if someone wants to be a hairstylist or a kickboxer or a hunting guide - or a schoolteacher - he or she must be trained and licensed by a state agency. No such requirement is necessary for parenthood. Anyone with a set of reproductive organs is free to create a child, no questions asked, and raise them as they see fit, so long as there are no visible bruises - and then turn that child over to the school system so the teachers can work their magic. Maybe we are asking too much of the schools and too little of our parents and kids?"
"In the U. S. push for education reform, theories abound as to the key factors: school size, class size, administrative stability, money for technology, and yes, teacher skill."
"But a mountain of recent evidence suggests that teacher skill has less influence on a student's performance than a completely different set of factors: namely, how much kids have learned from their parents, how hard they work at home, and whether parents have instilled an appetite for education."
-excerpts from Levitt and Dubner's Think Like A Freak