Conflict Between Rich and Poor Education System

America's education system perpetuates the gap between rich and poor

America is rich.  Why is American education so poor?
Conservatives will almost unequivocally blame the government-run school districts and their thick layers of bureaucracy, and there is something to be said for that: there is a great deal of bureaucracy in public education, and many people holding very highly-paid jobs who do very little, if not tell other people how to do their jobs (such as teachers) when they themselves have never actually done those jobs and know next to nothing about the practical realities of those jobs.  Granted.  There is plenty of room for reform there, and plenty of those jobs could be eliminated, or at the very least occupied by individuals with real, recent, hands-on experience in...well, educating.  Next, conservatives will point their finger at teachers' unions, claiming that union demands make it impossible to balance budgets, hire the best teachers and fire ineffective ones.  I have more than once written in favor of overhauling (or overthrowing entirely) the seniority system supported by teachers' unions, because I do feel that very often that system allows incompetent individuals to remain in their positions, earning increasingly substantial salaries, long after it is clear that they are ineffective.  However, despite this disagreement with the union's stance on this particular policy, as well as a few others, I shudder to think of a de-unionized school district.  Every raise we have been given--even cost-of-living increases--have been hard-fought by the union, and just this past year the union spent months fighting to keep the district from passing the ballooning cost of health insurance premiums onto the backs of employees.  As it is, teachers' salaries are so low and increase so slowly as to be prohibitive to many would-be teachers, particularly in areas with high costs of living such as South Florida.  Without the advocacy of unions, districts would...