It’s Always too Little Money

November/03/2015 5:53AM
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Funny thing in the private sector when a corporation begins to experience losses in shareholder value they begin to take measures to correct the problem. The oil industry is a classic example. Oil prices have dropped and stock prices are following. Cash flow is drying up for the industry. Drilling is being curtailed around the globe. Layoffs have begun. Responsible corporations are resizing to fit the current crude price and that forecast for the coming years. If it’s $50 a barrel crude, then a company has to make a profit or breakeven at that level, not pray it goes back to $100.

This is not true in the public sector. Public schools across the country are experiencing budget squeezes. Teachers are still striking for more pay and benefits. When politicians attempt to cut expenses protests break out and the media is right there supporting even higher costs. Communities are going broke because they can’t support the current cost of education. Much of that is due to generous pensions being paid to retirees living in Florida and playing golf. But, much is due to inefficiency. Too many school districts and too many superintendents and far too much overhead. Parents already faced with higher property taxes are asked to kick in more for books and supplies.

If you were buying anything else other than education would you question what value you are getting for your money?

Let’s look at that.

In 2011, the United States spent $11,841 per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student on elementary and secondary education, an amount 35 percent higher than the OECD average of $8,789. At the postsecondary level, U.S. expenditures per FTE student were $26,021, almost twice as high as the OECD average of $13,619

Well, if we pay the most, we must be getting the best, right?

For four presidential administrations math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test always went up. Not this year. Since this president has screwed up everything he’s touched, why not education too? Scores for fourth graders dropped 2 points to 240 and for eighth graders it dropped 3 points to 282. Can you say Common Core, a bad idea that isn’t working? Is it being scrapped, no? Not until we get a new president. So the current trend in math is down.

Overall, what does the money buy:




educational spending

There you have the unvarnished truth. We are on top on spending and near the bottom on results. If this were a corporation what would have happened years ago? Gone, that’s it, plain and simple.  You can keep buying the crap about how good our teachers are and how they are grossly underpaid, but in anything other than our brain-dead dogma about our educational system, this is abject failure. And, it’s not about the money, it’s about incompetence.  We are doing a serious injustice to our kids by buying into the excuses and ignoring the facts. Our system is broken and only a big broom sweeping from top to bottom will ever fix it. Teachers who become superintendents are ill-prepared to manage anything. Teachers protected by unions and tenure who don’t teach, can’t stay. Waste can’t continue. Teachers who made $100K can’t be raking in $200K in retirement 10  years later.

Hey, my kids are out of college. My grandkids are in college and high school with one exception. Not my axe to grind, but it should be many of yours to say, “enough”.  We are told all the time that it’s a global economy. How the hell do your kids who rank so low in comparative grades compete? You had better start judging little Janie and little Johnnie’s teachers not on how much they like them, but what  your kids test scores say.  

Don’t even get me started on the colleges and universities where professors prove they don’t teach since they are rarely in the classroom and where incompetence at the top is second to none even in Washington DC.   Double the cost of the rest of the world here. Out of control spending fueled by student loans and no controls.

When confronted with accountability on test scores tied to salary in Atlanta, GA, teachers cheated and went to prison. No one, I mean, no one, in this system wants one iota of accountability. Guess it’s up to you parents to get it, I’m losing interest fast.

This is the propaganda machine that helps create the dogma about how great our teachers really are. Check the math, it’s new math. Know any teachers who put in an 11 hr. day? Know any white collars who put in an 8 hrs. day? Isn’t new math great?

teacher's workweek



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