Something that I have always wondered since I started teaching, and have never heard a convincing answer to, is the question:
"Why do kids automatically move up to the next class each year?"
ie. Why does Shane leave Primary School when he cannot read three words of English? Primary Schools are full of people who can teach kids to read, Secondary Schools are not. There is absolutely no point in him moving up until he has been taught to read, write and do simple sums.
Most of the kids who came to us at the age of 11 unable to read, left at 16 (or earlier in many cases because they simply couldn't understand what was going on in the lessons) still unable to read after 12 years of full time education. If that's not a massive failure of the Education System, then I don't know what is.
All the answers I ever heard involved 'self esteem', 'peer group continuity' 'human rights' or some other rubbish. If anybody has a sensible answer, please let me know.