Check the reading list then and now.


One of the major issues we are facing in the United States is the quality of primary and secondary education. Washington had its usual plan to deal with the problem – spend more money. As you look at the graphs below it is not difficult (unless one is a Washington politician) to conclude that “spending more” isn’t the solution.

derugy-column-chart2 coulson-2-9-11-2

Amount spent (cost of public education) has tripled with no discernible improvement in test scores. I’m not a huge fan of test scores because the tests also have been “dumbed down” and innumerable teachers have been caught cheating. Thus even the stability of the test scores is likely wrong.

However, when one looks at federal spending per pupil, the “value” of all those extra dollars spent is shockingly apparent. Who knows what changed in the federal government in 2009? Right you are! Obama became president and the Democrat Party controlled Congress.

Below is another reason, in my humble opinion, that primary and secondary education are suffering in America.

9thgradereading

I happen to be a fan of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowlings, but clearly the classics have been removed from the reading lists. “D’ya’ think” this might be a reason that students do not seem as well “educated” today as before?

Roy Filly

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About Roy Filly

Please read my first blog in which I describe myself and my goals.
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5 Responses to Check the reading list then and now.

  1. Bill Conklin says:

    As long as the teachers union holds the political power it does, this will never change; it will continue to get worse. It is the main thing dragging our country down. And any remedy would have to start in the first grade, not the ninth grade. That is not going to happen, or even be attempted.

  2. libertyphysics says:

    I agree with Bill Conklin. Back in the 60’s even my public school had us reading Ivanhoe and Silas Marner. I feel educated all of a sudden. I did see the movies, Captain’s Courageous and Last of the Mohicans. But I don’t suppose that counts.

  3. Dick Toomey says:

    Roy, your email query suggests that the Demo objective is to solve the problem — that they haven’t yet learned. Their objective is not to solve the problem but to perpetuate it — not unlike many non-profits ostensibly in business to lessen and perhaps even eradicate a problem — but in fact, the problem escalates. This is a touchy assertion — but UW budgets in every city must eclipse the past year’s budget — not only is nothing ever solved — it’s never even diminished.

  4. Roxanne A. says:

    Get the government out of schools. Period. Those who control education (and children are educated today, not taught), have a majority say in the direction of the society.

    My thanks to Richard MItchell (Less Than Words Can Say, The Underground Grammarian) for my understanding of teaching a student versus educating him. Please read his re-write of Churchill’s speech of “We will fight them in the countryside…” if written by education bureaucrats.

  5. Of course, “more money” thrown to education by the feds goes to the unions and other education local ‘leaders’ but not to what is taught or to whom, which has resulted in low education rates. Those funds shouldn’t go to the children anyhow but to those really concerned with education, namely the parents. However, I do not imply giving parents money. Reduce the burden of imposed taxation on the parents with children, and stop restricting their discretion and choice. Spent money by interested parents in the composite of individual discretion is vastly more efficient than “general” spending of grand, all-inclusive government spending. This country grew on individual importance and growth rather than collective, general-inclusive programs.

    It is an observable fact that with reduced taxes comes greater revenue to the government because more earned wealth in the hands of the citizenry and businesses, more tax money is collected in spite of the reduced rates. Witness the treasury growth under Mellon in the 1920s, under JFK’s reduced taxation and the same under President Reagan’s. It is simply that with more money in the hands of businesses, greater growth will occur, and that creates more jobs. With more employment there are more people paying taxes. Too simple for politicians? Certainly YES, since the vast majority of the political mentality is in seeking power (votes), not better education, infrastructure, economic growth or national security.

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