Originally posted by SirMike
Based on the above graph, whcih represents inflation adjusted public school spending vs test scores since 1970, the obvious solution to this issue is
I couldn't find this graph, however I was able to locate one of the sources, the NCES Digest of Education Statistics for 2007, table number 171.
Here is a foot note below the costs, which were adjusted for inflation:
NOTE: Beginning in 1980–81, state administration expenditures are excluded from both “total” and “current” expenditures. Current
expenditures include instruction, student support services, food services, and enterprise operations. Total expenditures include current expenditures,
capital outlay, and interest on debt. Beginning in 1988–89, extensive changes were made in the data collection procedures. Some data have been
previously published figures.
I'll come back to this. First, here's a graph from the Texas Comptroller regarding Federal expenditure versus local and other expenditures on public
In this image, we see that Federal spending accounts for 7.6% plus another 0.2% (from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) for a total of
In the next image, we see from the state of Massachusetts that Federal spending has hovered around 5% to 7% of total funding, with State and Local
footing the rest of the bill:
Finally, in this last graph we see that both the Federal share of spending and the amount in % of GDP are lower than they were in the 1960s.
So, here is my quandary. If per student spending has risen and test scores have lowered, what can be the rational explanation? Well, let's go back up
to the footnote about spending since the beginning of the Reagan administration:
NOTE: Beginning in 1980–81, state administration expenditures are excluded from both “total” and “current” expenditures.
Current expenditures include instruction, student support services, food services, and enterprise operations. Total expenditures
include current expenditures, capital outlay, and interest on debt. Beginning in 1988–89, extensive changes were made in the data
collection procedures. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
So, how do these costs break down?
On page 254, table 172, the expenses are broken down on a per student basis. We find that of the total average per student expenditure ($10,071), the
following is true:
Health, Speech Pathology, Libraries, Media/Computer centers, Curriculum materials, Staff training: $3024
Capital Outlay(building/repairs): $1097
Interest on Debt: $273
Ok, these are all per student at the national average - some states get much more, some much less. However, these are misleading because not all
students need Speech Pathology, for example, and all students collectively benefit from Curriculum development materials, Libraries and Multimedia
So, this boils down to burdens, really. The Federal government actually shoulders a relatively small portion of the costs of public education. But, in
the process, they carry steep requirements and national standards that sometimes are not in the best interests of the students.
In fact, since this is a "conspiracy" board, I would logically conclude, that the requirements dolled out by the government as quid pro quo for
their roughly 7% additive to the spending on students seem to feed into the privatization scheme. I would argue that the relatively small amount of
money being spent carries with it a large requirement on the backs of each individual school, which, although propped up by property tax, means that
some are less funded than others, especially in poorer communities.
I think the end result is a Federal Mandate (such as NCLB and Race to the Top) that inaccurate judge individual progress on abstractions of collective
development based solely on quantitative subjects (math and science) and prescriptive basic writing exercises with little to no emphasis on analytical
skills, fostering creativity, and especially realistic, unwavering, and truthful historical context. Not to mention that civics is a joke.
I would also blame entertainment and sports - not in and of themselves, but rather the overemphasis outside of school on watching professional sports
and/or mindless television programs all day long, combined with new social media that have essentially changed the focus of the language from
descriptive usage to 500 character limitations and fewer, forcing txtng and essentially language change. Meanwhile, the students are expected to
analyze texts. There's the reasoning...