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  • FamilyFacts.org: Education Spending Skyrockets While Achievement Remains Flat

    Does the United States spend enough on education? Many messages in the media and from Capitol Hill would suggest that there is a dearth of taxpayer dollars spent on American education today and that if the U.S. can only spend more, student achievement will flourish.

    However, years of increased spending have led only to bigger budgets and bloated bureaucracy—not improved student achievement—and have similarly failed to empower those with the greatest stake in a child’s education: the family.

    Research shows that families play a large role in a child’s educational success. Yet for decades, policies have focused on pouring more money into a broken education system and into the hands of bureaucrats rather than on empowering parents and children.

    Thus, despite ever-increasing education dollars flowing from the Department of Education (DOE) since the 1970s, test scores remain virtually unchanged. Federal spending has nearly tripled, while at the same time achievement has stagnated and graduation rates have hardly budged.

    That’s no to say that federal spending on education has had no impact. With increased government dollars, schools have seen a substantial growth in federal red tape, paperwork, and administrative costs. And the DOE’s budget has ballooned, along with its staff. Today, there are over 4,000 employees at the DOE making on average an annual salary of over $100,000 each.

    On the other hand, reform-minded states around the nation are implementing practices that take into account the crucial role parents play in a child’s education. Not surprisingly, these practices are leading to student achievement and increased parental satisfaction. For example, in the District of Columbia, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program provides scholarships of $7,500 to low-income students, allowing families to choose private schools that best fit their children’s needs. Children in this program are significantly more likely to graduate from high school—91 percent compared to 70 percent of their peers—and trends indicate increases in reading scores.

    Parents are also significantly happier with their children’s schools. Florida has similarly been a champion of empowering families through school reform by allowing public school choice for students in low-performing schools, providing private-school choice for low-income children and grading schools on an A–F scale, which allows parents to know how well their children’s schools are performing. And Florida’s students are thriving. Reading scores are soaring and the racial achievement gap is narrowing.

    President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget would increase education spending even further. Yet years of data indicate that such action is likely to do little for students and families while creating a greater tangle of bureaucracy and burden for schools.

    Instead of increasing Washington’s power, policies that empower families should be expanded, opening the doors of educational opportunity for more children around the nation.

    To learn more about the role of the family and religious practice in maintaining limited government and civil society in America, visit FamilyFacts.org.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to FamilyFacts.org: Education Spending Skyrockets While Achievement Remains Flat

    1. R Holland, Chandler, says:

      Get the federal government out of the education business, it has proven to be a dismal failure. Eliminate the Dept. of Education. Stop the college loan program. Return the control of education to the states and local boards.

    2. Tom Sullivan in FL says:

      The government school management model is a complete failure. Doubling the cost makes no change in educational achievement quality. It is time to liberate parents and students from the government model, give them vouchers, and let them shop for the best products they can find.

    3. Margaret Mueller, Ro says:

      In the 1971 book Global Ecology edited and written by John P Holdren, and Paul Erlich, (who were teaching at UCBerkeley and Stanford) an essay considers population control measures: doctoring our drinking water, developing multi-year mandatory birth control, childbearing licenses and forced abortion. The article states that following the model in communist countries of women in the workforce, government should encourage women toward careers because they will delay childbearing and limit themselves to one or two because of their career interest…abortion should be free and legal.

      Within three years two-wage earning couples had so inflated the cost of homes in Marin County that monthly averaged county property taxes became higher than people's house payments. This economic pressure lead to the passage of the infamous Proposition 13 which limited government's ability to raise property taxes. New York financial houses responded to a shortage of capital by buying mortgages from banks which propelled home construction for the next thirty years.

      In the late seventies into the eighties, women's magazines and television news were saturated with articles headlined, "Biological Timebomb," referring to the aging reproductive systems of women in the workforce; these were succeeded by "Daycare," "Latchkey" and "Infertility" articles. Co-incident with women's rise in the workforce, and a spate of commercial child-rearing services such as daycare, after school care, and homework storefronts. Never-the-less SAT scores flat-lined, as have virtually every other measure of academic progress in our country.

      While parents succumbed to work pressure and embraced the marketplace enterprised solutions to hands-on childrearing, teachers filled the void of handing on of values, ethics, and national pride that once sustained our vast and diverse society by touting destructive social contracts encouraging early sexual experience, deconstruction of virtues, and taught a burdensome legacy of national shame to our young men (of all racial, ethinic and social backgrounds) that has suppressed them, and their achievement. Teachers unions have supported the legislative mandates that have forced age inappropriate sex education, history and social curriculum on the classroom.

      The co-opting of America for the sake of population control has dropped our national birthrate below the two child replacement level while the birthrate in cultures and communities around the world remains higher, with an averge of six children per Islamic household. Population control has not caused a decline in the population of the United States. It has contributed to financial markets manipulating monetary policy and mortgage availability, consumerism, declining academic achievement, and social instability.

      One of the architects of this debacle is the 'Science Czar' in the White House, John P Holdren. Is it any wonder our nation has declined so far, so fast in the last three years?

    4. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Golly! You mean Make Work isn't the same thing as Real Work? If you waste money on every damned fell Progressive notion, things that have never worked for anybody? Do you suppose it won't work?

      Let's suppose you diagnose all our bright kids, call it Attention Deficit Disease! Put them all on Crack! See? When kids puke because the Curriculum is so bad, it is the kid's fault!

      Read Margaret Muellar, above! See what great Readers we have at Heritage Foundation. Progressives actually have 'taken over' Education in our Country. It argues for me that the House should Defund the entire Department of Education. Human experimentation has been illegal since Nuremburg, so what they have done to American kids? It is a crime against humanity!

    5. Larry Benish says:

      Good education begins, and continues,in the home. Without this, there will never be enough money or programs to successfully raise these children.

      Perhaps requiring more of parents, rather than the children,is the place to focus our energies. Accountablity should become the theme.

    6. John Clancy says:

      "That government is best which governs least" is a way of stating the principle of subsidiarity, and this principle is even more germane when looking at the education of a child. Education is very personal: the closer we keep the resources near the child, the better.

      When you contrast the bureaucracy in Washington with the parents in Pittsburgh, the power to educate the child is most effectively placed in the hands of the parents in Pittsburgh.

      This approach is good, not only educationally, but economically. Milton Friedman, the economist, makes a strong argument for tax credits or vouchers to the parents: achievement goes up; cost goes down because schools (teachers) must compete in a free market.

      Yes, we are realizing more and more that the federal government has a serious negative affect on education. President Obama probably knows about the failure of the federal government, but, like typical democrats, he uses our money to win votes from unions–in this case, teacher unions, the most powerful in the country.

      Yes, we need to defund the Dept. of Education. Governors need to remove any strings by returning and refusing money from Washington. Washington should use tax dollars for purposes consistent with our constitution.

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