Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 23, 2010 / 15 Tishrei, 5771

The Worst Education Money Can Buy

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There are people, lots of people I guess, who still honestly believe that the more money the federal government spends on education, the better educated our children will be. An interesting theory, however the past 40 years or so has proven this not to be the case. Throwing more and more money into the public schools in our country has done absolutely nothing to improve learning. This isn't just me talking; this is provable by statistical evidence gathered over the years.

As reported by the Cato institute, even with the near tripling of overall per pupil funding since 1965, national academic performance has not improved. Math and reading scores have largely gone flat, graduation rates have stagnated, and researchers have found serious shortcomings with many federal education programs. Experience has shown that federal funding and top-down intervention are not the way to create a high-quality K-12 education system in America.

The federal government's involvement into K-12 educational funding was kicked off in the 1960's as part of President Johnson's "Great Society" programs. The 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act was landmark legislation, and it remains the core of federal K-12 policy today. Originally Title I, as it was called, was supposed to provide grants to low-income areas, but it quickly grew into a more extended subsidy program that, by the 1968-69 school year was subsidizing 60 percent of the nation's school districts. Today it's everywhere, spread all over the country.

Also at that time the teacher's unions got much more powerful, as all the states unionized their workforces. Then in 1979 Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education under pressure from the National Education Association, and other teachers' unions. Over the course of 40 years we've spent hundreds of billions of dollars on K-12 education and test results have been absolutely flat for 40 years according to the scores of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is the source for the most widely used measures of school achievement. I guess all that money hasn't helped too much, eh?

Another crazy thing about all this money is that it's coming from all the 50 states and it works like this: The states send in the billions to Washington, DC and then Washington sends 81% of it right back to the states, along with their federal regulations and demands. Excuse me? Why not just keep all that money within the states and spend it directly on education?

President Reagan came into office in 1980 promising to abolish the Department of Education, but he couldn't do it thanks to Capitol Hill and other political obstacles of that time. If we could eliminate that department today it would instantly save this country $94 billion and do away with one needless government bureaucracy. This may sound like a radical idea, but it's really not.

Canada, an advanced, high-income country has never had a federal department or a ministry of education. They get higher test scores in international comparisons than we do here in the states. They've got more school choice, more vouchers, more charter schools, and more innovation. Yet, they do not have any federal department of education.

Now how could this be? Easy. It's because decentralized, innovative, local school boards do better than a federal department.

When the public schools were operated by the states and the local school districts, as our founding fathers intended, things just ran much better somehow. Back in the days before the bloated bureaucracies and federal regulations took over, education was in the hands of parents, teachers and the local districts and guess what? Kids learned. Now total per-pupil expenditures have roughly tripled over the last three decades and those increases have not added up to better educated people.

The federal government spends all this money because the teacher's lobbies keep pushing for more dollars. The primary focus is on spending. Not innovation. Not new ideas. And not even the kids. It's all about the money. They want more and more money. And the feds are happy to go along with this because it means more centralized control of the educational system.

And how does the allocation of money add up to graduation rates? Well, according to a paper published a year ago by the New America Foundation, Wisconsin has a relatively low per pupil expenditure ($10,791 - just over the national average) but the highest graduation rate in the country (89.6 percent). On the other hand, New York has the second highest per pupil expenditure in the nation ($16,794) but one of the lowest graduation rates (70.8 percent). The disparity in the District of Columbia is even greater - it has the third highest per pupil expenditure ($16,353) but the second lowest graduation rate (56.0 percent).

Hmmm. I guess money doesn't necessarily add up to better learning. Maybe what we need is more involvement by mom and dad and less by Big Brother.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

Greg Crosby Archives

© 2008, Greg Crosby

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles