For decades, the MSM has been touting an alleged correlation between taxpayers' spending and the quality of public education. Simply put: The more taxpayers spend on learning, the more students learn. This MSM has promoted this correlation with such vim and vigor that many people actually believe the correlation is 1:1 (that is, a perfect, positive correlation).
But, as Andrew Coulson noted in his testimony to Congress in 2011:
To sum up, we have little to show for the $2 trillion in federal education
spending of the past half century. In the face of concerted and unflagging
efforts by Congress and the states, public schooling has suffered a
massive productivity collapse — it now costs three times as much to
provide essentially the same education as we provided in 1970.
Grim as that picture may seem, it fails to capture the full measure of the
problem. Because as productivity was falling relentlessly in education,
it was rising everywhere else. A pound of grocery store coffee is not
merely as affordable as it was in 1970--it hasn’t just held its ground--it
is cheaper in real dollars. Indeed virtually every product and service has
gotten better, or more affordable, or both over the past two generations.
Seen in that proper context, we would have to be disappointed with our
nation’s lack of educational improvement even if federal spending had
not increased at all. The fact that outcomes have remained flat or
declined while spending skyrocketed is a disaster unparalleled in any
other field. The only thing it appears to have accomplished is to apply
the brakes to the nation’s economic growth, by taxing trillions of dollars
out of the productive sector of the economy and spending it on
So, here we all are 3 years later and the Wall Street Journal reports that federal test scores between 2009 and 2013 indicate that nation's 12th graders demonstrated 0% improvement. Worse yet, results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) provide evidence that 38% of 12th graders scored proficient in reading and 26% scored proficient in math. Similar findings for 2012 and 2013 were reported by the College Board, which administers the SAT. In sum, only 43% of students were prepared for college-level work.
Got it? 62% of high school seniors are not prepared for college-level reading and 74% are not prepared for college-level math. These outcomes, despite spending 200%+ more of the taxpayers' $$$s to fund public schooling.
Some inconvenient facts the MSM doesn't tout: Since 1970...
- inflation adjusted public school spending has gone up 200%+;
- NAEP scores indicate that 12th graders' achievement has stagnated;
- the high school graduation rate has declined by 4%-5%; and,
- it only cost the nation's taxpayers $2T (or $300B/year)
Remember: Oftentimes, it's not what the MSM reports that's important, it what the MSM does not report that's important.
Let the discussion begin...
To read Andrew Coulson's testimony before the Congressional Committee on Education and the Workforce, click on the following link:
To read the Wall Street Journal article, click on the following link:
"Federal Test Shows U.S. 12th-Graders Aren't Improving in Reading or Math."