October 31, 2014 4 Comments
Back a few weeks ago, Emily Domenech, wrote piece on education spending. My plate was running over like Niagara falls at the time so it got set aside. I’m in the process of catching up, and I think it to be important, so here it is.
If you’ve ever spoken to a public school teacher or administrator about how to improve the public-school system, the conversation inevitably comes down to one thing: “If we only had more funding.”
I experienced this firsthand a few days ago at “back to school night” for my daughter’s high school in Arlington County, Virginia, where I heard teacher after teacher talk about how there just wasn’t enough funding to provide opportunities offered in the past: no field trips for earth science, no extra resources for senior project, and certainly no school-sponsored trip to France for advanced French students.
While there’s nothing new about teachers lamenting limited funds, this struck me as particularly odd given the Arlington County Public School budget for fiscal year 2015, which shows yet another increase in spending for the district. Costs per K-12 student rose to $19,040 in this 2015 budget, up 2 percent from last year. Arlington County consistently ranks far above the national average in per-student costs (which, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, was $10,608 p
Continue reading Education Needs More Freedom, Not More Money.
Thing is, I know nothing about the Arlington County, Virginia schools, but what I have always seen is that the schools tend to be a featherbedder’s paradise. Not so much the teachers as a rule, although some likely are suboptimal. But it has always seemed to me that the administrative tail is ridiculously bloated, and far too much of the work for these districts, is done by connected firms, usually on no bid contracts.
I’m inclined to think she is right about the ESAs, I also think that charter schools are an excellent idea, as is homeschooling, or even a cooperative school, which frankly would be an outstanding model for public schools.
I have noticed that some British universities are moving towards a fee based tuition. I also note that they are beginning to pay attention to the results that their graduates get in the market. This is a trend that we should embrace and advance.
One of the major problems in our urban schools is that they are turning out graduates that are illiterate, innumerate, or both. We and our public schools have failed absolutely with these poor people. And our country is much the poorer in more than one way for it.
If we are honest, we know that having Washington involved nearly guarantees failure. So why aren’t we taking it back at least to the state level, although the township, precinct would be best, I think
In short we need to find ways to hold our educational system responsible for results, we our paying them (quite well, too) to educate our boys and girls,. Perhaps we have a right to expect the schools to graduate young men and women that can read and write?