The "Doggy-Dog World" of Government Schools

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Michael Graham of The Boston Herald pens an article that neatly sums up the state of the public school system in terms of results vs. expenditures. The title of this post, borrowed from a phrase actually used by a student in a college composition class, gives you an idea of the results. (But if you don't believe me, also consider the fact that students are complaining that their classes and assignments are too easy.)

Two other things bear mention. First, throwing twice as much looted "public money" per student (adjusted for inflation) at government schools over the decades since 1980 has done nothing to improve things:

We test students all the time, tests like the National Assessment Of Educational Progress (NAEP). And since 1970, these results in math and reading have essentially been flat.

For example, the average 17-year-old's NAEP score in reading back in 1971 was 285. In 2008 it was 286.
Second, although it should come as no surprise, the whole idea that public school teachers are starving to death is a myth perpetuated by the teacher's unions.
When I tell people that, just as an example, the average Boston teacher's salary is around $82,000, they refuse to believe me.

When I tell them that the teacher-student ratio is lower than it's ever been in the modern era, they can't accept it.

The average person believes the "poor me" propaganda in part because the unions spend so much promoting it. Since 2005, the MTA has spent $4 million on lobbying and political activism in Massachusetts alone. People fall for it, politicians react and the cost of mediocre education continues to rise.
Despite the fact that I have long advocated getting the government out of the business of educating our children, articles like this still manage to amaze me with how lousy government schools really are. But then, were politicians and teacher's unions not working overtime to guard this gravy train, more people would know, and perhaps many more would begin to question the wisdom of having the state run such an important enterprise.

-- CAV


Steve D said...

Unfortunately, the private schools are on average only a little bit better than government schools.

Gus Van Horn said...

Good point: The problems with education in general ultimately emanate from those of the culture, especially from fashionable, but incorrect theories about education.

Government schools certainly have their role in entrenching these dogmas and should be abolished, but they are not solely to blame.