Here's how I would remake the educational system in America:
1. Nationally standardized curriculum. Make it at international equivalent level. Remove the fluff. To hell with this "holistic" shit that ends up having parents do the kids' homework. Have homework that is doable by the kids. Keep the "build this and that shit" stuff in kindergarden. It's not working anywhere else. Have teachers discuss the national curriculum at yearly professional forums. Update as appropriate.
2. Teachers. Regulate them. Pay them decently. Make being a teacher an actual career. Give them the respect the people who mold the future of a nation deserve. Create a system in which teachers are hired by exam. Even substitute teachers should be qualified and have pedagogy degrees. Have the teachers undertake bi-yearly courses to actualize their knowledge. Offer tenures even for highschool teachers.
3. Have skills training in highschool for various trades so that kids come out of highschool with a tradeskill they can make a living from. Specialize the highschools according to what they offer.
4. Nationally standardized tests at the end of highschool that meet the requirements for college entry.
5. Offer serious funds for schools. Provide them with all the materials they need. Free books, free school computers. Fuck the sports, put the money into books and computers and educational materials. Remove highschool performance sports altogether.
6. Free school dinner. It will work wonders in bringing poor kids to school.
7. Remove all politics from schools. Have qualified teachers run schools, not obtuse managers saving money on pieces of paper
Just off the top of my head. Add yours.