Spend less on education for better results 4

Seems that the less tax-payers’ money spent on education, the better. (No – of course not to zero.)

Good teachers are needed. Non-unionized teachers.

And parents that take their children’s education seriously.

Rob Shimshock writes at the Daily Caller:

The Trump administration requested $59.9 billion for 2018 — an amount $7.1 billion smaller than its 2017 budget. Lance Izumi, senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute, explained to The Daily Caller News Foundation why that is a good thing.

The education scholar highlighted the after-school, learning-oriented 21st Century Community Learning Centers (one of the initiatives the Department eliminated) as a particularly wasteful program.

To eliminate those programs is a real plus for taxpayers and a real plus for students,” Izumi said, commenting on the Education Department’s elimination of funding to 17 programs it described as “duplicative” and “ineffective”. 

It “eats up about $2 billion per year, and it’s supposed to provide these after school and other supplemental programs,” Izumi told TheDCNF. “The problem is that virtually all the studies and research that’s been done on the program shows that there’s no connection between participation in this program and improved student performance in reading and mathematics.”

He said the U.S. Government Accountability Office examined 58 different 21st Century Community Learning Centers and discovered no correlation between enrollment in the programs and increased reading scores.

In fact, “Students produced lower reading scores by participating compared to those who did not,” the scholar said. “You have very poor attendance among the student participants in the program…less than 50 percent of the students who attend more than 30 days.”

“Why should we be spending all this money, these billions of dollars on a program that all of the data shows is not achieving its purpose?”

Izumi also commented on the $1.1 billion the Education Department hopes to dedicate to school-choice initiatives. He explained that even if the federal government bolsters charter-school funding, it makes little difference if state laws still impede the schools from opening.

“If a charter can’t get approved under state law, it really doesn’t matter how much money the feds give to charter schools because those charters will never be started in the first place,” the scholar added.

Izumi opined on the special interest groups criticizing the Department’s budget cuts to teacher training programs.

The teachers organizations are crying bloody murder,” the scholar acknowledged. “It may be a perk for the teachers to get a day off or to get professional-development training and it may fund an industry of professional-development trainers, but it’s not doing any good for the students, which is the reason the system exists in the first place.”

But the most important question is what are teachers teaching? What are students learning? What does too-much-money actually buy for the rising generations?

An article at the Mises Institute by Carol A. Vance and Loyd S. Pettegrew, published in September 2016, revealed dismal findings:

Since 1980, during the Carter Administration, America’s K-12 education system has come under increasing control by the dictates of the federal Department of Education (DOE) with failing results, taxing states and filtering the money through Washington to return a portion of it back to the states. In 2002, the Bush Administration approved the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act creating punishing amounts of federal paperwork and bureaucracy for local schools, requiring a $1B grant in special funding to help state and local education systems comply. In 2015 Congress enacted new legislation, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to allegedly overcome the NCLB federal intervention. The Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke says, “ESSA does not accomplish these critical policy priorities” to reduce the interference and excessive hours of standardized testing time. The 2016 DOE budget is $70.7B excluding a Presidential request for an additional $75B mandatory funding over ten years for Pre-K education.

What is America getting for federally-funded interference in education? The US spends over 23.2% of per capita income on its students each year, 9% more than Singapore while over 26 other countries that spend less outscore US students. Charles Murray says that even after substantial resources were dedicated to assist minorities over a 10 year period, SAT scores have indeed dropped for Amerindians ( -28%), Latinos (-26%), Blacks (-14%) and Whites (-6%) while substantially increasing for Asians (+54).

Of 64 countries in the International Student Assessment, the U.S. ranks 35th in math and 27th in scienceSingapore spends almost half of what the U.S. spends in primary education and about 70% on secondary education while internationally scoring first in math and second in science. Ironically, while more than 1.7M students are now homeschooled, the National Center for Educational Statistics does not produce statistics on the likely difference in achievement between homeschooled students and public education students.

Students in institutional schools are measured repeatedly, however. A typical student takes 112 mandated standardized tests between pre-K classes and 12th grade; by contrast, most countries that outperform the U.S. on international exams test students three times during their entire school careers.

In spite so much testing and measuring, the standards are being manipulated to enhance the illusion of improving student performance. The modern thinking appears to be that “everyone must be a winner”.  A variation of this is “average is over”, a perverse twist on economist Tyler Cowen’s thesis. In K-12, only children with extremely low I.Q.’s, juvenile delinquents or truants receive average grades, and rarely do students receive D’s or F‘sIn most states, students with English as a second language are passed along with C grades regardless of performance. Piereson & Riley note that the Department of Education released data showing that from 1990-2000 high school graduate GPAs rose a third of a point and one public school district in northern California altered student grading so that students scoring above 80% received A’s and students below 20% were given F’s.

In the past 30 years, the Department of Education has exerted an increasing influence on K-12 education. K-12 teachers, overwhelmingly if not exclusively, are the products of schools of education whose influence is largely left-leaning and their teachings politicized. David Labaree, Professor in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education has states that “education schools are solidly in the progressive camp ideologically.” Stotsky concludes that K-12 English classes have increasingly become ersatz social studies classes with biased content taught by moralizing pedagogues who are untrained in either history or social science. Teachers Unions maintain a strangle hold on local school districts and principals’ ability to terminate ineffective teachers.

In 2000 Clinton created the National Education Standards and Improvement Council for teaching American history. None of the 31 standards mentions the U.S. Constitution; the National Standards Advance Placement history exam also politicized American history in a highly progressive manner.

Revisionist history books represent the horrors of the American revolutionists and their colonial oppression. No period of American history is being celebrated; instead the historians have apologetically presented our forefathers as war mongers and racists. We foresee the day when the Constitution will be burned in effigy because so many authors were slave owners.

Science exists in a sustainability vacuum where climate change is presented as gospel in place of the scientific truths of the elective courses in Physics.

States have banned classic literature for its “incendiary” themes including Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, Moby Dick, Catcher in the Rye; while age appropriateness is certainly a valid concern, an outright ban is unconstitutional. As a by-product of this censorship, Yale freshmen recently petitioned faculty to remove the “nondiverse” English literature of Shakespeare, Dickens and Bronte from the required curriculum.

Notably some of the brightest spots in K-12 education exist in isolated places including New York and California where parents fought the government and union to take charge through organizations like Excellent Educational Solutions and the Harlem Success Academy.

President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address, mandated government controlled pre-school education for millions of young children and represents a new stealth opportunity for left liberal indoctrination. The U.K. adopted Pre-K in 2007 for children age 3-4, with underwhelming results which don’t include educational attainment of the children. While a child’s academic gains were at best marginal in the U.K. (small improvements by age 5 and no improvements by age 11), was free child care for parents. Gerard Robinson argues that with the Pre-K schooling now an educational reality, the government not parents has clearly become the controlling force in early childhood education. We can only imagine that in the U.S., this is another opportunity to create a new entitlement and progressively indoctrinate even younger children without any parental controls.

Then Donald Trump was elected to the presidency. Now, Rob Shimshock tell us, less money is being spent by the federal government on education.

If, in addition, Common Core were to be eliminated, and much more attention paid to what is taught, American children might become better educated.

At least up to 12th. grade. After that, if they enter a university and are forced to study blackness, femaleness, whiteness, Hispanicness, and anthropogenic-global-warmingness, whatever good their school did them will rapidly be undone.

 

(Hat-tip to Don L for the Mises Institute link)

  • Jeanne

    It is very hard for local districts/counties to grab hold of local school curricula and programs, because of the unfunded mandates that come down from the top, both federal and state. Unless the county is wealthy enough to tell them to piss off, they can’t risk losing funding from the upper levels for necessities, such as construction and transportation. The teachers unions are very powerful forces in elections, so they can pick elected officials that will do their will or shame them into submission to progressive education policies. Hurrah for Betsy Voss and her attempts to curtail the trend that has been ruining our public schools for decades.

    I am sure that you each have seen since your experience with public schools, a steady decline in quality, as your education was not on par with an elder sibling and then a younger sibling’s education not as good as yours to the worsening of education for the next generation and now they are complaining about their children’s poor education. The progressive agenda worked its way through all aspects of society, which together aided in what children now are taught, thus nearly destroying for many their chance of being successful as adults….relying more and more upon the State for existence. A perfect cycle of frustration.

    I guess we should be grateful that some kids will make it despite public education, because they had more vigilant parents. The next step is for parents to keep their children out of universities by encouraging them to attend community colleges or trade/technical schools or join the military after graduating, if not simply encourage them to find employment and to continue educating themselves through responsible living.

  • Don L

    Water IS wet, rocks ARE hard and we NEVER think about things we don’t think about.

    If you don’t necessarily trust the government, have you ever thought that the things they forced you to learn (did you realize it WAS forced?) might not be true? Maybe there are things they don’t want you to know. Heck, maybe they don’t want you to know at all but to just do as you’re told. Where do all the kids who were bored go?

    You must learn to conform and fit-in or else.

    • liz

      Yes, and now they’re forcing kids to question their gender identity (creating the problem!), so they can use them as the latest “victim class” in the identity politics agenda. They don’t care if it ruins the kid’s life – they can always blame the suicide on homophobic conservatives.
      Never let a crisis go to waste!

  • liz

    There’s no such thing as a decent education anymore, just leftist indoctrination. And when scores go in the toilet, what do they do? Admit that quality education has declined in direct correlation to the rise of leftist indoctrination?
    Of course not. They never address the problem (since they’re the ones who created it!), they simply manipulate the statistics in their favor.
    Exactly the way Obama and Holder “solved” the problem of too many black students ending up in prison – not by addressing the root cause of why blacks commit so much crime in the first place, but by blaming it all on white racism, paying the schools to ignore crime committed by black students, and doubling down on the indoctrination: Black Lives Matter!