Government failure

For the Children: Break Up the Corrupt Government School Monopoly System!


School failure
Credit: Dreamstime

In today's Washington Post, columnist George Will has a terrific column indicting the diversity propaganda complex in government elementary and secondary schools, but the most disheartening part of his column is his recitation of these facts:

Today, the school systems in 20 states employ more non-teachers than teachers. The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice reports that between 1950 and 2009, while the number of K-12 students increased 96 percent, full-time-equivalent school employees increased 386 percent. The number of teachers increased 252 percent, but the number of bureaucrats — including consciousness-raising sensitivity enforcers and other non-teachers — increased 702 percent. The report says states could have saved more than $24?billion annually if non-teaching staff had grown only as fast as student enrollment. And Americans wonder why their generous K-12 financing (higher per pupil than all but three of the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations) has done so little to improve reading, math and science scores.

Consider also the fact that per pupil spending has increased (in real dollars) from $4,600 in 1972 to $10,700 in 2009. On the other hand, SAT scores have not budged:

Sat scores
Credit: AP

And it's not just poor American kids whose academic performance lags. A new report released earlier this week compares U.S. middle class student achievement with that of other developed countries. The news is not good:

America Achieves today released new data showing that America's middle class schools have a long way to go to be best in the world.  The report is based on new analyses of math and science data disaggregated by economic and social advantage from the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).  U.S. students in the second to top quarter of socio-economic advantage lag behind their international peers—significantly outperformed by 24 countries and regions in math and 15 in science.  Previously published results show that U.S. students in the second quarter of economic advantage lag significantly behind 10 other countries in reading.

Although those countries also run government school monopolies, they are not yet strangled by the sort of bureaucratic overgrowth cited by Will.

Transparency International defines corruption as…

Generally speaking as "the abuse of entrusted power for private gain". Corruption can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs….

Political corruption is a manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision makers, who abuse their position to sustain their power, status and wealth.

Not only are students and parents being betrayed by the politicians who maintain the system of government monopoly schools, but so too are the hard-working teachers who are coerced into conforming to the corrupt norms of that system. For the Kids—break up the government school monopoly.