“We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world," declared President Barack Obama during his second State of the Union Address, urging lawmakers to throw ever more taxpayer dollars at education. "At stake is whether new jobs and industries will take root in this country or somewhere else," he claimed, as if the more money Congress spends on education, the more competitive the U.S. will be in the global market place – as if government spending is the mother of education and national prosperity.
The president likes to call such spending “investments.”
But recent news reports reveal this sad truth: federal education “investments” aren’t paying off so well. Not only are there no dividends, the principal is disappearing as well.
The federal government, in 2008, for example, provided $669.6 million in subsidies to the public schools in
. The State of Wisconsin spends more cash per pupil than most states. It increased expenditures from $4,956 per pupil in 1998 to $10,791 per pupil in 2008. That’s more than a 100% spending increase on education in only ten years. Wisconsin
Yet all that increased spending apparently didn’t add a single point to the reading scores of
’s eighth grade students from a decade ago. Two-thirds of these kids remain unable to read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education. Nationwide, only 30 percent of public school eighth graders earned a rating of “proficient” or better in reading. Wisconsin
If public schools can’t even teach a simple majority of kids to read proficiently by the eighth grade, which is well beyond elementary school, it only stands to reason that these same students are just as intellectually deficient, if not more so, in all the other basic subjects.
To put it bluntly: this news confirms that public school education in
suffers from a 70% failure rate, and no amount of money thrown at it will improve the dismal situation. No private school would last for long in the market place with that kind of track record. America
Education cannot be bought with money. Money does not create innovation; innovation creates money. Throwing good money after bad at public education will not create jobs here or make the nation more competitive. It only bleeds and unnecessarily impoverishes the people.
Education doesn’t require compulsory attendance; lavish buildings; plush facilities; swimming pools; stadiums; sports programs; and dozens of other extra-curricular activities. Education requires only genuine motivation on the part of individual students who want to learn. It’s motivation, not money, which counts most when computing the quality of education.
But individual student motivation doesn’t buy political influence or votes; money does. That’s why public education is so deeply entrenched in
-- $10,000 plus per pupil per year is big money by any definition. America
All that money is going into the pockets of political beneficiaries. Some people are getting rich. While the politicians and their entourage of political advantage seekers continue to prosper more and more at the expense of the taxpaying sheep, the vast majority of the taxpaying sheep just get dumber.
You have to wonder if that wasn't the plan all along.