we don’t care about education

Do you support spending more money to “fix” our education system, debt be darned?  Forbidding school choice?  Awarding tenure to chair warmers?  Empowering government teacher unions because sweat shops existed in the private sector in the early 1900’s?  How about lowering graduation standards to pad the stats and to protect the guilty (hat tip Richard F. Miniter at American Thinker)?  Legislating sledgehammer school calendar restrictions at the state level, ‘cuz that’ll fix it (#goodGrief)?  How about a nationally “elite” private HS excusing students on May Day, thereby showing solidarity for what? Indoctrinated dolts in the year the Occupy abomination was spawned? The good ol’ May Days celebrated by Marxists?

It’s not working folks, and you’ve run out of excuses.  Do you even care about educating our kids?  If so, you have a strange way of showing it.  From the University of Southern California’s Master of Arts in Teaching website (Feb 2011), the following infographic (to which I added some flair) paints a dismal picture.  The US outspends Finland by 37% per child.  Finland beats US by 15.6% in Math and by 15.1% in Science.  That’s inexcusably poor.

we outspend Finland by 37%, they outperform us by 15%

Cut the kimchi, folks.  Look your kid in the eye and be honest with her.  We just don’t care about educating her generation.

4 comments so far

  1. russwinn on

    Dave,

    Thanks for the post, and the flair!

    Here’s an excellent article on the Finland education system that’s well worth your time. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/

    The direction we’re heading of privatizing our public schools is a huge part of the problem rather than the solution.

    Here locally, Dr. Wardynski’s move to privatize the Seldon Center and replace it with The Pinnacle Schools is a good example. This move was supposed to cost about half as much as keeping the Seldon Center open. It is instead already costing 50% more than the Seldon Center, and that cost is expected to rise over the coming year.

    We spend more than Finland because we’re moving away from public education rather than toward it.

    Thanks for the comments, btw. It let me know you’re out here.

    r

  2. Dave Smith on

    Whew, we’re even 15 points behind an “equity” approach that eschews competition. That really is pathetic. That further bolsters my position – if we can’t beat an opponent like that, we just flat out don’t care about educating our kids.

    I do not agree that moving America in the direction of public schools as the only choice would be our silver bullet solution. In our American real world, we’d be rewarding pathetic American public education status quo by removing its competition. I fail to see any way how that would motivate those systems to improve.

    If Dr. Wardynski is involved in any way, then by definition, that’s not “private”. The only true way to give a private option would be to give American families the choice to deduct the equivalent of a kid’s public education from their State/Fed taxes (instead of being forced at the end of a gun to subsidize failure), and allow them to make that direct private choice themselves. The minute you funnel the money through the gov’t, the inherent massive waste puts us behind the 8 ball before investment even comes *close* to educating a kid.

    One size fits all, Leviathan, heavy handed state & national dictates have been tried for decades, and they flat out do not work in America. We should eliminate massive bureaucracies at the national & state levels, and let our Federalist system work its magic. It’s completely ridiculous that we should be flying across the pond to find out what works in education. We’ve got 50 labs (states) built into our system – let those states compete against each other, and their localities within. Then the shining localities will be the beacons to show the way.

    There are other flaws in the Finnish comparison. Finland doesn’t spend any significant budget on defense, they allow us to do that heavy lifting for the world (shame on them, shame on us). Also, Finland lacks ethnic diversity. We have ethnic and class groups in this country who have tragically been conditioned (and encouraged by our Nanny State) to focus priorities elsewhere than on education.

  3. russwinn on

    You’re reaching by claiming that if Wardynski does it, it couldn’t be “private.” He’s directing public funds to private organizations. He’s replaced a publicly staffed and managed school with a private one at a 50% premium.

    I would suggest that you take a look at the Broad Foundation’s goals for education. Privatization can happen from without by the state closing all public schools, which seems to be your definition of privatization. It can also happen from within, by privatizing public services one by one, which is the Broad (and Wardynski–who is Broad trained) approach. Yours has the benefit of being more honest, although it is not one I will ever support.

    The only reason I linked to the Finland article is because you referenced how much better Finland was doing than the US. The lack of private institutions appears to be at least one reason why they are doing better.

  4. Dave Smith on

    Hey Russell,

    I don’t think I’m reaching to say that “privatization” funneled through Wardynski is not efficient privatization. Much more efficient to allow families to make their own individualized decisions about what to do with their $X per education-aged child, with that money *never* flowing through government coffers. I know a whole lot better than Dr. W does how much global fraud (*cough* – climate change), socialism studies, Marxism softening, slooowww Microsoft Office training, Nacho Libre watching “supervised” by sleeping substitutes for the last 45 days of school, and political correctness/multi-culti self flogging my children need, I can assure you 😉

    Sorry I wasn’t clear on my definition of privatization. No, I’m not suggesting all public schools should be closed. I support all American children having an education *opportunity*. I do *not* support education equal outcomes at the end of a gun. That is, we can pour endless $trillions down a hole, but if Johnny and his parents don’t care about educating Johnny, there are not enough truancy officers and do-gooder legislators in the world to force them to change their minds. Much better to allow Johnny and his misguided parents to experience the consequences of not seizing the education opportunity (consequences are nature’s BEST educators). Leave the door open for them to walk back through it later, but don’t beat them over the head with it, or worse lie with statistics to hide the fact that Johnny doesn’t know Jack.

    Understand why you linked to the Finland article, thanks for doing so. I don’t deny that their results are better than ours – and you’re right, I made that point initially. I just don’t think the solution is as simple as eliminating competition… that’s just not a philosophy I subscribe to.

    I’m a huge basketball fan. I love watching basketball. If I were good at it, I’d love to play. We could take three approaches to “solving” this dilemma:
    1) I lack Tony Parker talents (true), and I don’t work at the game at all (true), but it’s not fair that he gets to play in the NBA, and I don’t. NBA fairness, I play, no one watches because the results are so dismal.
    2) I’m born with Tony Parker talents (hypothetical), but I don’t work at the game as hard as he does. Fairness prevails again, we both play, same result – no one watches.
    3) I lack Tony Parker talents, but I work just as hard at the game as he does (hypothetical). Result is still the same, I’ll never be as good as he is, no one watches.
    I’m hurt by participating in the game. My talents should’ve been applied elsewhere. Tony Parker’s hurt by my participating in the game. The lack of real competition makes the game a ridiculous bore for him, and since no one watches, I’ve participated in stealing his livelihood. Potential fans lose a great outlet. Everyone loses in the pursuit of foolish fairness.

    Thanks a lot for contributing my blog – it’s good to connect with you.

    ~ Dave


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