March 8, 2007
Most people, when they pay more for a product and get less in return change products, or decide not to spend the money. Not so with government education.
The education department finds an increase in the percentage of 12th graders who can’t read at the basic level: 27 percent from 20 percent just a few years ago. In math, only 23 percent of 12th graders perform at or above the proficiency level. As usual, it’s worse for Black and Hispanic students.
Tuesday’s wall street journal noted that money for the Bush Administration’s “no child left behind” program has risen 35 percent since 2001 and money for title one schools serving low income students has increased 45 percent.
If money and performance were related, achievement would be considerably higher, not lower. The problem is that government schools continue to monopolize education. They’re teaching more sex ed than ever, but they can’t teach the kids in sufficient numbers to read well and to do math. School choice, not more money, is the solution.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.