The Corner

Lesson Eventually Learned?

Freeing state budgets from the lavish spending, often forced by courts, on education bureaucracies is perhaps the only sensible way to start turning around not only the shortfalls states must avoid, but their lousy educational outcomes, too.

Apparently, parents are finally starting to do their homework. According to Gallup today:

Voters overwhelmingly believe that taxpayers are not getting a good return on what they spend on public education, and just one-in-three voters think spending more will make a difference.

Nationally, spending on schools over the last two decades has skyrocketed, but according to the U.S. Department of Education’s stats, it’s been money wasted:

The average reading score in 2009 was higher than in 2005 but lower than in 1992. Thirty-eight percent of twelfth-graders performed at or above the Proficient level in reading in 2009, which was higher than the percentage in 2005, but not significantly different from the percentages in other earlier assessment years. The percentage of students performing at or above Basic (74 percent) in 2009 was not significantly different from 2005 and was lower than in 1992.

Is there is good news in this? Of course. Fewer than four in ten U.S. high school grads will be capable of reading the bad news about what they didn’t learn in the nation’s public schools.

Denis Boyles — Dennis Boyles is a writer, editor, former university lecturer, and the author/editor of several books of poetry, travel, history, criticism, and practical advice, including Superior, Nebraska (2008), Design Poetics (1975), ...

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