K-12 Spending Has Doubled since 1970, but Student Test Scores Have Remained Flat

Ben Velderman, EAG News, August 8, 2013

{snip}

According to a graph produced by Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute, Americans are spending twice as much on K-12 education as they did in 1970, but students’ math, reading and science scores haven’t increased at all during this 40-year spending binge.

Deroy Murdock of the National Review describes the chart this way:

“The spending curve of government outlays on K-12 education from 1970-2010 is essentially an upward-sloping 45-degree angle. The curves representing reading, math and science test scores are all 0-degree angles. These commonly are called flat lines.

“For all the lavish expenditures that have been lobbed into America’s government schools, U.S. student performance is in its fifth decade of suspended animation.”

The truth hurts sometimes, and Murdock’s words ought to make every teacher union leader and public school apologist wince.

{snip}

How can America solve its K-12 “money for nothing” problem?

Murdock again: “Liquidating the teachers’ unions, enacting voucher and other school-choice options, abandoning the exhausted excuses for poor performance, and–conversely–boosting expectations for all students (regardless of background or circumstances) would help solve this perennial challenge.”

Those are all good suggestions.

But before those ideas can become policies, enough Americans have to be convinced that public education can’t be fixed by throwing more and more money at it. We’ve tried that for 40 years, and it hasn’t worked.

{snip}

Chart

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  • BonusGift

    It’s certainly not the money, it’s mostly not the teachers (although the unions are at least in part to blame), it’s the students stupid! I suspect even Orwell would be amazed at how this issue never focuses on the prime driver of test scores: importing and expanding the number of squats and blacks as the country turns into a third world hellhole with test scores to match.

    • IstvanIN

      It isn’t the Unions. They had teachers when I was in grammar school in the 60s.

      • BonusGift

        True, yet the nature and especially focus of the unions has become more directed at their own benefit at the expense of all else.

        • NeanderthalDNA

          Well, not a big fan of unions nor big corporations.

          All ideology aside, the purpose of any union is indeed looking out for it’s members. Not to make a better widget or do a better job, but to protect and benefit union members, which intrinsically I would argue is no big deal. Management and ownership work for their own benefit as well.

          In terms of teacher’s unions my biggest problem is their addiction to parasitic education departments.

          Should teachers not look after their own interest? I always felt (in a “right to work” state) that I was expected to NOT look after my own interest, that to do so was somehow morally and ethically questionable. I felt like I was supposed to be kind of the whore with the heart of gold, some form of self sacrificing kicking dog that never complained, never needed money like other regular folk, and was expected to take abuse from above, below, and every other direction yet smile and work my magic.

          No such thing as magic, however. Nor glitter and unicorns, nor silver bullets.

          However bloated and (GASP, SHOCKING) devoted to the welfare of their members they may be…

          I’ve not found good studies that show they are at fault for our roiling, cascading, histrionic ejucayshunal “crisis”.

          It’s race and our warped ideology regarding race. Nobody can do the impossible and “education” cannot admit that. There is such a thing as maximum educability, and looks like we reached it some 40 years ago.

          There is no crisis in education beyond race. Problems, yes. Stupidity and mandarinism, yes. Ideological pollution, sure. But if you really look at the spending it always comes back to the fact that they cannot turn 85 avg IQ blacks into 100 avg IQ Whites.

          • BonusGift

            I have no problem with private unions negotiating for their members benefit; whereas I do have a problem with ‘public’ unions “negotiating” (and, e.g., giving ‘campaign contributions’ to) with politicians on behalf of taxpayers. In short, one is qualitatively different than the other and it matters.

          • NeanderthalDNA

            Sure. I just know that sans unions, teachers have very precarious positions.

    • Sick of it

      The curricula in use are terribly dumbed down.

      • BonusGift

        Very true, and especially if you compare it to past curricula. For example, critical reasoning has essentially disappeared.

  • Puggg

    Murdock again: “Liquidating the teachers’ unions, enacting voucher and
    other school-choice options, abandoning the exhausted excuses for poor
    performance, and–conversely–boosting expectations for all students
    (regardless of background or circumstances) would help solve this
    perennial challenge.”

    That will surely solve everything: Make the same 2-digit IQ peasants and dummies who can’t learn in public schools go to private schools using vouchers and whose teachers are not unionized, but make sure you have high expectations of them. This is the same “conservative” “wisdom” which prescribes opening the borders to even more 2-digit IQ peasants to “grow the economy” (i.e. grow the net worth of billionaires at the expense of everyone else).

  • dd121

    And somebody is actually surprised by this news? You can spend all the money you want on the pig but it still won’t learn to read.

    • APaige

      I have more hope for pigs than certain others ‘groups.’

  • JohnEngelman

    How can America solve its K-12 “money for nothing” problem?

    Murdock again: “Liquidating the teachers’ unions, enacting voucher and other school-choice options, abandoning the exhausted excuses for poor performance, and–conversely–boosting expectations for all students (regardless of background or circumstances) would help solve this perennial challenge.”

    – Ben Velderman, EAG News, August 8, 2013

    I doubt that would be successful either. It would only serve the function of attacking the public sector of the economy.

  • Spartacus

    Dark-skins will never learn anything, regardless of how much money you pump in them. That is the statistical proof that nobody can deny.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    The only thing that would raise test scores would be to deport all illegals and increase white births. Lowering the percentage of our population that is non-white would be guaranteed to raise scores.

  • Editor left out the most important part which William Krapek just pointed out:

    In notes next to his chart, Coulson writes that the total cost of providing one student with thirteen years of public education (kindergarten through high school) rose from $57,602 in 1970 to $164,426 in 2010.

    That’s a 285 percent increase per student! (Yes, those amounts were adjusted for inflation.)

  • Major

    Ok..Mr. Mod..what’s wrong with the post?

  • Hunter Morrow

    There is nothing that teachers, excuse me, “educators” can do to counteract 100,000 years of divergent evolution in climates as different as Scandinavia and Africa and Mexico in 12 years. But dammit if they won’t keep trying!

  • IstvanIN

    1) Eliminate teacher’s unions and tenure so that it is even easier to fire the teacher who makes an un-PC comment.
    2) Enact school voucher and choice programs to ghettoize all our schools.
    3) Raise expectations for all students so that even more blacks fail and we can throw even more money down the rat hole.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Man, great minds think alike – and ours too, HAHA!

      Nail on the head, brother man. The cookie cutter fauxcon doth never miss a chance to dink a union, regardless of truth. That’s the American “conservative’s” red meat that stops all rational thought mid stream. Just say “the unions” and it all starts falling in place.

      Oh yeah, then vouchers. I get it. They want to send their kids to White schools, have the choice. Understood regardless of how assiduously they avoid the Truth, even to themselves? Also “vouchers” suggests the opportunity to put all education in the hands of for-profit hucksters. You think educators are full of it now, in terms of guaranteeing outcomes and lying bald faced to you and themselves? Wait til ya throw the profit motive into the mix! I speak from experience, by the way…

      Raise expectations…then fire and harass the poor frontline teachers ORDERED TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE – make blacks into whites (without ever admitting it).
      Might not the fact that nothing has changed over the past 50 years indicate something in regard to…human limitations? This is the biggest black secret of education, friend…

      Until we genetically engineer better people, or improve them through mechanical/nannite technology implanted into their nervous systems…perhaps just perhaps we have long ago reached the maximum educability of our population. This is where the histrionic screeching from the education establishment becomes especially odious and parasitic in an almost purposeful way…as long as racial differences are not taken into account the parasites have a never ending excuse for crying for mo money – the racial achievement gap.

  • WR_the_realist

    Of course this is the Cato Institute, so every problem is solved simply by having less government and freer markets. That might help, but they ignore the elephant in the living room. Back in 1970 the schools were still about 85% white. Today they are 50% white.
    Who’s replacing the whites? Some East Asians who do well in school but mostly the replacement consists of an increase in black students (from about 10% to now 15%) and a vast increase in Hispanics. More and more sun people (to use John Derbyshire’s term) guarantees worse school performance.

    • Of course this is the Cato Institute, so every problem is solved simply by having less government and freer markets.

      And don’t forget — Open borders.

      This is the main reason why most working class whites close their ears whenever they start to hear someone say “Free markets.” Not because free markets are bad in se, but because most of the people that preach it like a religion are soon going to say free trade and open borders, the one-two punch against white working and middle class economic prosperity.

      • Webspin

        The competition of free trade has given us much better products at greatly reduced prices. U.S. cars from the 70’s and 80’s were junk, it was the Japaneses that gave us products that forced the big 3 to start making better products. In 1979 I sold electronics for a large retailer. All the T.V.’s we carried from Japan were fully solid state and had electronic tuners and skinny infrared remotes. The U.S.’s premier T.V. brand ‘Zenith’ was still 100% vacuum tube and even still used an electric motor to change channels via a 100% mechanical remote (it used tuning forks) the size of two large bars of soap. Don’t get me started on the junk U.S. stereos compared to the Japanese built units.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    Murdock again: “Liquidating the teachers’ unions, enacting voucher and other school-choice options, abandoning the exhausted excuses for poor performance, and–conversely–boosting expectations for all students (regardless of background or circumstances) would help solve this perennial challenge.”

    Those are all good suggestions.

    But before those ideas can become policies, enough Americans have to be convinced that public education can’t be fixed by throwing more and more money at it. We’ve tried that for 40 years, and it hasn’t worked.”
    Oh that’s it? HA HA! Those suggestions are either…
    1. utterly groundless or…
    2. still won’t change the racial reality of IQ differences
    Let’s see…schools in union districts, regardless of how much you hate unions, seem to do no worse than non-union peers. Voucher and school choice options? Look again at the results, Sherlock…a few success stories highly touted floating on a sludge-pool of high priced same ol’ same ol in terms of results. Actually many of these farces are good at nothing more than cooking books and/or cleverly screening those students allowed to enter.
    Oh, and then the moronic, no duh flourish…we just gotta get back in there and not put up with and raise our expectations and and and…
    Hey…know what happens when you raise expectations for blacks and don’t cook the books? NOTHING! IN FACT, THEY FAIL MORE MISERABLY!
    No no no no Mr. Cookie Cutter a-racist cowardly “conservative”. You have correctly identified the massive waste and parasitism in education but you too have failed to perceive the real problem.
    You still have a job, don’t you?

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Oh…it’s “Deroy” here talking. Still, could have been any number of blind White cookie cutter “conservatives”.

  • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

    I wouldn’t trust those test scores either. Tests have been dumbed down and grades inflated to the point that illiterates are graduating high school, as shown by the explosion of “remedial” courses in college.

  • Romulus

    Im in agreement with Sick of It. The curricula has been so dumbed down over this period,. The result is teachers that don’t know anything teaching students who know even less!

    • jane johnson

      There is also too much emphasis on instilling (unjustified) self-esteem in “underprivileged” students. Low IQ + artificially inflated ego = bad attitude, sense of entitlement, and no responsibility for behavior.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    “But before those ideas can become policies, enough Americans have to be convinced that public education can’t be fixed by throwing more and more money at it. We’ve tried that for 40 years, and it hasn’t worked.”

    Yes. The solution is not pretty nor just around the corner. It’s actually easy – de-professionalize education to an appropriate level and admit to inherent racial differences, then educate with the understanding that not all succeed, ever have, ever will, and that an educator’s job is not simply “educating” but also EVALUATING, something made nearly impossible by our race fetish.

    But you hit the nail on the head there, for ejumcayshun and everything else. The consciousness of the average White needs be raised. That is why we are posting here, why I support Amren in my own very humble way. And this is why Mr. Taylor insists on a certain balance of civility and decorum vis-à-vis legitimate expression here. We are engaged in a cultural WAR, and many Whites need to be gently brought into the fold.

    Our words have meaning, here on the webbytubey, in the home, in discreet places at work, wherever. Get the message out EVERY CHANCE YOU GET.

  • Ella

    Well, you have a slow population drop of Whites from public schools, which will bias the test scores. Mass immigrations started during mid 1960’s under Johnson and Americans now see the real effects of flooding in the 80’s, with noticeable ethnic changes in SW region. We also have NOT had much immigration from Western Europe since the 1920s. It’s slowly causing lower birth-rates among us.

  • Neuday

    Such stats nearly always adjust for inflation. However, this adjustment nearly always under-estimates inflation due to the innate difficulty of quantifying purchasing power over time, and the government’s interest in presenting better inflation numbers. Bottom line; K-12 spending has likely more than doubled, but the point is the the same. More money, same test performance.

    I’d be interested in seeing test scores and enrollment, by race.

  • Webspin

    I think one can safely assume that this is an inflation adjusted number…unless you’re actually thinking spending has been cut 66% in real dollars (cumulative inflation 501%, spending increase only 100%).

  • Webspin

    “In the late 1960’s the district was probably 60% white and 40% black,
    which was consistent with the demographics of the county in that era”.?!?

    Can I get an “A” for pointing out this error?

  • Funruffian

    This graph proves that PC laws are the main culprit in the lack of progress in education. If all the races feel they can achieve on their own merits, then by all means segregate them. If Whites and Asians aren’t opposed to it, why should the Blacks be opposed to it?

  • Greg Thomas

    You cannot transplant the third world into a first world country and expect first world results.

  • din_do_nuffins

    Maybe it’s because pure blooded blacks’ noses have remained flat.

  • JackKrak

    (Automated Liberal response to this article)

    So you’re saying that we haven’t spent enough???

  • Epiminondas

    A pig by any other name will behave the same. Give them more money, don’t give them money…it’s all the same.