America’s public schools are failing… miserably. We pump more and more money into the system and students aren’t learning more, or better.
In fact, while all other nations rise, we’re stagnant. The best way to picture this horrible stagnation is in this one chart:
It’s impossible to look at this chart and see that more money does not equal greater outcomes. We have expanded school funding by almost two-fold in the last 40 years and our test averages have remained remarkably static.
Still, the teachers’ unions insist that it’s more money that they need. Always more money.
But where does that money go? A study from The American Enterprise Institute examined this:
Since World War II, inflation-adjusted spending per student in American public schools has increased by 663 percent. Where did all of that money go? One place it went was to hire more personnel. Between 1950 and 2009, American public schools experienced a 96 percent increase in student population. During that time, public schools increased their staff by 386 percent – four times the increase in students. The number of teachers increased by 252 percent, over 2.5 times the increase in students. The number of administrators and other staff increased by over seven times the increase in students… This staffing surge still exists today. From 1992 to 2014 – the most recent year of available data – American public schools saw a 19 percent increase in their student population and a staffing increase of 36 percent. This decades-long staffing surge in American public schools has been tremendously expensive for taxpayers, yet it has not led to significant changes in student achievement. For example, public school national math scores have been flat (and national reading scores declined slightly) for 17-year-olds since 1992.
Foundation For Economic Education: The Failure of Public Schooling in One Chart
Business Insider: New exam results may support Trump’s claim that some American schools are worse than those in ‘3rd-world’ countries
Wall Street Journal: The Scandal of K-12 Education
American Enterprise Institute: More Money, Same Problems
The problem isn’t just in poor, minority neighborhoods. Students across the board are failing poorly. In a country where we used to be on the top of the list, we’re now right in the middle, behind the Czech Republic and Latvia in many cases.
For reformists, the plea is for diversity, innovation and competition. Getting rid of the monopoly that the federal government has on the education system, and opening the door to new ideas. Let schools compete for students by offering better education, and turning out smarter students with better grades.
Meanwhile, students continue their indoctrination while in America’s public schools. Here’s a letter one student wrote… Interesting he can spell “xenophobia” and not “which.” Think he had some help from the teacher?
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the American public school system.