Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Schooling as Fraud
"Almost predictably, he now falls back on the apple pie and motherhood issue of education to elicit a legislative consensus and maybe, if lucky, enact something tangible. It's admittedly a tough sell in today's debt-ridden, frozen-budget times, but who can oppose a world-class education for American kids? ... Murky implementation details aside, Secretary Duncan assured everyone that key congressional Democrats and Republicans plus mayors and governors from both parties were on board. ... This budget-bloating money will not fix our educational woes; it will instead reward a dysfunctional educational establishment. This is yet one more dubious make-work jobs bill--or to use a little barnyard humor, a pig-in-a-poke wrapped in a sheepskin. America is addicted to educational largess. Between 1900 and 2008, our total government spending on education rose from 1% of GDP to 7% in 2008. In 1919-20, the cost per pupil in constant (2005-06) dollars was $668; by the beginning of WWII, it had risen to $1,404. Upward movement continued, so in 1949-50, it was $2,188, and by 1959-60, it was $3,190 per pupil. By the end of the 20th cebtury, it hit $10,000, and by 2003-05, it was $11,100. Education munificence has even outstripped health care appetities. We are also spending more on buildings and facilities. The enterprise is also incredibly labor-intensive. ... Schools with 'at-risk' students can rival luxury resorts where attendants outnumber guests. In 1949-50, the ratio of pupil to school staff members was 19.3 to 1; by 2004, it had fallen to 8 to 1. ... New York City's education bureaucracy illustrates the jobs creation machine at work, where positions are typically available to those with modest training or an easy-to-get high school equivalence certificate. Job titles include 'Teaching Assistant,' four distinct levels of 'Eduational Assistant,' three levels of 'Education Associate.,' and two types of 'Auxuliary Trainer,' plus varied 'Family Assistants.' ... And what were the proposed solutions? ... Instead, these 'probing and unflinching' experts demanded community partnerships, more role models and mentors, and 'wraparound' servies. Never heard of 'wraparound services'? ... None of this has ever worked, or at least not significantly, and if any of it had succeeeded, the original Great Society would have done the trick decades ago. ... Build the failure, and the job seekers will come", my emphasis, Robert Weissberg (RW) at American Thinker, 3 February 2010, link:
Education is a scam. Nothing can close the "achievement gap". That's the bottom line. The various assistants are in make-work programs, just like our penal system, with its parole boards. In the days of the dinosaurs, when I was in grammar school, we had classes of 30-40. So? The vast majority, possibly 75% of our education dollars are wasted.